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How to sell your own video games

Making a video game yourself is hard, but publishing and distributing It can be an even bigger obstacle, especially if you are new to selling games.Fortunately, I have some experience here, with my insights advice.

I’m not accurate I, a very successful indie developer Have got Design and self-publish your own desktop card game, create and distribute mods through the Steam Workshop, and plan to self-publish your first indie PC game in the coming months. I also wrote about games for life and personally know many other indie game makers, so I spent a lot of time researching and talking about self-published video games.

There are many ways to successfully sell your game, including marketing and social media.And building a community-but before worrying about any of them, you need to answer the biggest questions: Where Should You Sell Your Game?

There are many places to sell games online, but it’s the best choice Itch.io is for small, independent developers.

Sell ​​games on Itch.io

Image of an article titled How to Sell Your Own Video Games

screenshot: Brendan Hesse

Itch.io Is an indie game marketplace that hosts assets for use in thousands of video games, board games, desktop RPGs, and even art, music, sound effects, and more. Create your own game. It’s also very user-friendly and much easier to operate than most other publishers.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of Itch.io:

  • Itch.io has no application fees, content reviews, or waiting periods to deal with before uploading and selling the game.
  • Itch.io DRM requirements For your project, and no exclusivity, that means you can do it again Sell ​​the game elsewhere.
  • Itch.io is a service that supports Windows, Mac, and Linux games. You can also embed browser games written in Unity, Flash, Java, and HTML5 directly into your store page.

But perhaps the biggest difference is Itch.io and competition is that site It does not impose a strict revenue split.Instead, Itch.io is working on “open revenue sharing” that creators decide for themselves. Revenue to share with Itch.io (if any). Also, you do not have to meet certain revenue thresholds to collect payments.So if you just want to sell a small $ 1 gameThe moment someone pays you, you can keep every penny for every sale..

Heck, if What you want is a place to upload your project for free and you Don’t worry about marketing and revenue splits, Itch.io yet You look amazing Where to upload the game.

So obviously Itch.io is a creator-focused platform, but you’re probably wondering “what’s wrong?”Well, frankly, there aren’t many..The only major limitation notable:

  • Only 10 uncompressed files can be included in a project.
  • Some projects have file restrictions (although Itch.io can request an increase).
  • Only 20 projects can be uploaded per account.
  • Store page layout options are limited.

It’s also worth mentioning Itch.io’s reach and audience aren’t as big as Steam, for example.That said, Itch.io is popular enough A place to sell indie games, where customers can buy and download Barriers to entry are low without creating an account..

The last half limit is over Adult content. Itch.io allows you to upload adult and sexual content (if not) ilLegal), Itch.io payment partners PayPal and Stripe conduct Imposing restrictions, It cannot be used to pay for certain content.

Other publishing options

If itch.io’s restrictions don’t work, there are several other places to sell your game. However, unlike Itch.io, it is almost always subject to stricter revenue splits, submission fees, and / or application processes.

Image of an article titled How to Sell Your Own Video Games

screenshot: vapor

vapor Probably the easiest “major” platform for sending and selling games (except Itch.io).

Steam reviews all published games, but its content (and quality) policies aren’t as strict as other platforms like GOG and Epic, with a review period of just 1-5 days. However, creators must pay a non-refundable fee of $ 100 for each game they submit and must wait 30 days after the game is approved before selling. It.On the plus side, it excites you about your game and gives fans time to add it to their game. wish list..

Steam’s payment and revenue split policy Not very friendly to micro game makers. Steam makes up 30% of all sales and you can only get paid after the game earns $ 1,000. That said, you’re free to sell your game elsewhere, even after you publish it on Steam.

Image of an article titled How to Sell Your Own Video Games

screenshot: Brendan Hesse

Other major third party digital PC game distributors GOG And that Epic Games Store..

Like Steam, these are The platform requires the seller to submit the game for approval, but the criteria for actually selling it are: many More strictly. On the one hand, that means that both platforms offer better curation and potentially better visibility, For games they publish.On the contrary, it also means you probably You cannot sell your first game on either platform.

Still, it’s a good idea to check the publishing requirements Applies to both platforms. Epic Games Store and GOG have different revenue splits, payment options, DRM limits, and exclusive policies.Some creators actually I prefer it to Steam and Itch.io, so it’s worth applying when digging them Offer. If rejected, there are other places to sell your game.

What about consoles and mobiles?

For many indie developers, nothing is cooler than watching their own video game on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, or Xbox Series X. For others, the popularity of smartphones and tablets has made iOS and Android attractive options.

However, even if you have created your game specifically for these platforms, with the engines they support With proper control and interface requirements, there are still some hoops for jumping. First, you need to apply for participation in each company’s indie partnership program. Submit your game for approval, then work with your team to upload and publish your game.

It’s a daunting task, and probably more troublesome than a solo game maker would want to deal with. To sell their first project — but if you want to try again, check it out Nintendo, Playstation, Xbox, GoogleAnd / or apple Guidelines and applications.

What’s next?

Regardless of where you sell your game, the next step is to get people to buy, download, and play your game. Here are some tips:

  • Posting to social media: Please let us know early and often, but not that too early. Post the latest development information on YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit a is a great start, but only post if you have something you want to show.And even if your game is over, you should continue Let people know it Completed and available.
  • Create a trailer: Create and curate concept art, screenshots, GIFs, gameplay clips, trailers and post them to all your social media accounts. With a link to the game store page. You also need to use this content to spice up your game’s store pages and make them more attractive.this Video from YouTube channel GameDevUnlocked Great advice on how to create eye-catching trailers and screenshots.
  • Build a community: Join indie developers’ discord servers and subreddits, follow other creators on social media and YouTube, and get involved in their work. Usually, those people will return favors and check your game as well.
  • Consider sales and community bundles. Participating in sales events gives you greater visibility into your project on Itch.io, Steam, or anywhere else you sell your game. Itch.io’s Community Charity Bundle will also be very helpful in delivering games to future players. You won’t be rewarded for including the game in these bundles, but you can find players who couldn’t otherwise see the project. If they like it, it can help raise awareness through word-of-mouth.

There’s still a lot you can do to spread the word, but these steps will help you get the right path.Marketing a game can be a daunting task, but if you’re passionate about getting people to press playThe effort is worth it.

How to sell your own video games

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