Rampant Games - Fighting the Good Fight
The Rampant Coyote is back with another post this time asking,"Is releasing a game on PC without being guaranteed on Steam a losing proposition?"
This will probably shock and surprise nobody. But for games that are sold as products (instead of as services, like an MMO), Steam’s pretty much the 800 lb gorilla. If submitting and selling games via Steam was as simple as selling a game via Google Play or the App Store, that’d be one thing. You just do it. So long as your title adheres to some minimal standards, no problem. But instead, there’s the massive high-school student council election popularity contest where your game has to compete with vaporware marvels that promise the world.
But hey, after spending all that time and money generating support to get the Greenlight votes, who has anything left to actually finish a game?
As it currently exists… Steam is simultaneously enabling PC gaming on one hand, and choking the life out of it on the other. If I want to make a PC game, but I can’t guarantee a spot on Steam, it’s getting to the point where I would be very reluctant (as an actual business trying to survive making games) to do anything without some kind of prior blessing from the gods of Steam. This puts us in EXACTLY the same place we were in the bad ol’ days of the publishers dominating the landscape. This is exactly what the indie movement was trying to avoid. We didn’t intend to sacrifice a consortium of overlords for one big (if usually benevolent) overlord.