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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » The PA Report - Ditch Steam and Buy Direct

Default The PA Report - Ditch Steam and Buy Direct

June 10th, 2013, 01:50
Penny Arcade has a new penny report article, and the title speaks for itself. It's called "Want to support your favorite developers? Ditch Steam and buy direct."
The amount of money Steam charges as a commission isn’t public information, but I’ve been told by multiple sources that most digital distribution platforms take around 30 percent off commission for selling the game. That still gives the developer or publisher the lion’s share of the sale, and the massive amount of publicity that Steam can help give games is certainly worth the price being asked, but if you know you’re going to buy a game, why not give the developer more of your money?

If you see a developer selling a game directly, give some thought to buying it that way, as long as you feel comfortable. Many Humble Store links give you a redeemable Steam key for your purchase anyway. We’re going to make a better effort to link directly to Humble Store links and the official pages of developers to encourage this practice.

Again, buying from Steam, or your favorite platform, is perfectly fine. Supporting games in any way is a good thing. But if you have the option, buy direct from the people making the game. The difference can be substantial, and it helps them make more games in the future, and it’s likely the cost to you is exactly the same. The difference can mean an extra 20 to 25 percent of the cash going directly to those that made the game, and that's a great thing.
Remember this next time a small Indie RPG gets released.

More information.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; June 10th, 2013 at 08:35.
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June 10th, 2013, 01:50
30% to steam, I guess then 70% to the publisher and to devs? Nada.

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June 10th, 2013, 01:57
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
30% to steam, I guess then 70% to the publisher and to devs? Nada.
It should all go to to the developer. I see no need why Steam should get a huge slice for just acting as a content delivery service. That was the idea behind digital releases at one time .

Now we have services doing the job and taking cuts of the the profits.

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June 10th, 2013, 02:00
Good read. I do this when I can anyway and avoid Steam as much as possible.
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June 10th, 2013, 02:03
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
It should all go to to the developer. I see no need why Steam should get a huge slice for just acting as a content delivery service. That was the idea behind digital releases at one time .

Now we have services doing the job and taking cuts of the the profits.
I understand why you would say that, but then why would steam even exist and provide the bandwidth to download those games? What would be in it for them? It would fall on the dev to provide that bandwidth.

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June 10th, 2013, 02:16
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
I understand why you would say that, but then why would steam even exist and provide the bandwidth to download those games? What would be in it for them? It would fall on the dev to provide that bandwidth.
The devs could rent or pay a monthly fee, but either way they get less in the end.

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June 10th, 2013, 03:15
Well, in this case I do think they are referring to indie devs, who don't really have a publisher.

Is the 30/70 split also there for boxed games? Because of the way this article reads it seems not every steam key has the 30/70 split. (Obviously with buying boxed in retail a percentage goes to the store).
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June 10th, 2013, 03:17
Originally Posted by SonOfCapiz View Post
Good read. I do this when I can anyway and avoid Steam as much as possible.
In alot of cases they are still Steam games. You simply won't buy them through Steam's storefront.
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June 10th, 2013, 04:02
Originally Posted by JuliusMagnus View Post
In alot of cases they are still Steam games. You simply won't buy them through Steam's storefront.
Would Steam still get the same cut though? I understand about them getting something, they have to get something in return for the service after all. But 30% seems a bit deep. Even the big titles with publishers would have to take that amount into consideration in their deals with the devs
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June 10th, 2013, 04:09
I'll say this…..a few years ago, I was very anti Steam. Due to my son and a few friends talking me into using it, I've been quite happy during the years that I've had it. The one thing that really impresses me about the Steam thing is the seamless patching you can do with it, that would be very difficult for an indie company to duplicate. Maybe 30% is too much, but I really do like not having to delete my saves and start over for a simple patch.



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June 10th, 2013, 05:33
As someone who buys a new computer every couple years, I like the ability to just re-download my library from Steam. It saves me the tedium of doing it myself and it works like a charm, as long as you read the instructions carefully. I can't tell you how many times I've blown up Oblivion or Skyrim, just messing around, and then use Steam to reinstall.

I think for indie devs, Steam is a necessary evil. 30% of 10,000 sales beats 100% of 100 sales.
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June 10th, 2013, 07:05
And then there's the majority of developers who can't get on Steam even if they wanted to…

Many devs do offer a free Steam key if you buy direct (and they are on Steam).
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June 10th, 2013, 08:12
The convenience of having your digital library all in one place can't be overstated. That being said, I'll gladly buy direct if the developer provides a Steam key.
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June 10th, 2013, 08:35
Also syncing your save games between machines and even between OSes is a very nice feature, that I don't see how an indie developer will do easily.
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June 10th, 2013, 09:31
As it stands, 30% isn't just good value; it's like winning the lottery.

30% cut of your steam sales IS more money to the devs.
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June 10th, 2013, 10:36
Path of least resistance > What's right, smart or fair.

No reason to talk about this - as it won't make the slightest difference.
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June 10th, 2013, 10:48
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Path of least resistance > What's right, smart or fair.

No reason to talk about this - as it won't make the slightest difference.
Yeah that's right - Steam is for all intents and purposes a monopoly in the same way that Microsoft and eBay are - there are other options, it's just that there aren't really any other viable ones. Kickstarter is now in a similar position. If you have all the eyeballs you can pretty much charge what you want.
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June 10th, 2013, 11:12
Originally Posted by Roq View Post
Yeah that's right - Steam is for all intents and purposes a monopoly in the same way that Microsoft and eBay are - there are other options, it's just that there aren't really any other viable ones. Kickstarter is now in a similar position. If you have all the eyeballs you can pretty much charge what you want.
Also, it's convenient.

I know lots of people who buy on Steam EXCLUSIVELY for that reason and they're FULLY aware that it's a lot more expensive and that developers get less.
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June 10th, 2013, 11:33
If I have the option and if I know the developer I buy indie games direct, as a way to support them.
Still, overall being on steam is considered a good thing by all devs I heard talk about this, and 30% is still a lot more than what a developer got through the old sales model.
I do try to buy from GoG whenever that is an option over steam, in order to support another platform apart from steam as well.
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June 10th, 2013, 14:02
Every penny this consumer enslaving piece of software isn't getting is a penny for the greater good of mankind.

'Nuff said.

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Steam is out of question. It's not convenient, it's not easy to use, it's not simple and fast. It's terrible.
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