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In an effort to increase our sales numbers we are looking into all the different places that we can sell our game, Triangle Man. Before starting this research I had no idea that there were so many different online distribution channels for PC games. It has been really difficult to gather this info – there wasn’t a nice central location where I could find it all (though this blog post was amazingly helpful, and inspired mine).
So, I thought it would be a pretty good idea to share this info and save you all some time. This is for Windows PC games only, since that is what Triangle Man is. I didn’t cover sites like Kongregate or other browser based games sites. Someone did point me towards a site called Gumroad which lets people sell their products without a store. All they need to do is share a link with users. If we ever decide to sell from our website, then this is something we’d probably utilise.
If you are able to fill in any of the “unknown” sections in this, it would be greatly appreciated. Please also let me know if you know of any more pros or cons for any of the sites.
Also, the “daily visitors” numbers were taken from this site: http://www.statscrop.com. The numbers I received were obviously incorrect, however they do seem to be proportionally incorrect, if that makes sense. So, what I’m going to do is use those numbers and compare each site to Steam. So I will list a percentage for each site – for example, if the percentage is 30% that means the site gets 30% of the number of visitors that Steam does (please excuse my terrible grammar).
Someone also pointed out that most sites either pay quarterly or monthly – for those sites where I’ve written “no idea”, it’s probably a safe bet that they pay quarterly or monthly.
I had a few comments telling me that I should be charging for this info! That doesn’t really sit right with me. However, please feel free to purchase our game if you feel the need to show your appreciation. I might be biased, but I think it’s pretty good. If you’re poor you can even download the demo for free!
Approval method: Register to the site and submit game (via webform, I assume). The game must be approved by a moderator. (Update - seems the only way is actually via the generic "Contact Us" webform.
Monetisation: Outright sale
Game requirements: None
Game Logo (not sure on size)
Cover image (not sure on size)
Payment details: Via PayPal, almost immediate.
You keep all the profits
No additional client for gamers to download
WIP games accepted.
It seems like the games (and updates) take a long, long time to be approved. There also seems to be little communication between the moderator(s) and the developers. There are some developers who have just written: "DON'T DOWNLOAD MY GAME FROM HERE" all over their pages since their updates are never approved :/
Approval method: Create an account and then follow the info on the submissions page. However I could not create an account because I kept getting the error "Invalid CAPTCHA attempt" despite the fact there is no Captcha on the account creation page. Apparently the submission process works similar to Valve's previous one - you can send them incomplete games as long as they are in late beta. They will review them and decide whether to publish the finished product.
Monetisation: outright sale and a monthly subscription for access to all the games. The players don't technically "own" them, they must log in to GameHouse each time in order to play.
Game requirements: Long list incoming, sorry
game must not self-update or self-check (I guess if you have your own “drm”)
all dependencies must be included in the installer
must be 32 bit windows executable with .exe extension
must be uncompressed
.NET is not technically supported, but they say they do occasionally make exceptions
no built-in demo, they will handle that
default to full-screen
path names must be less than 80 characters
icon for vista games explorer must be included
game must run on vista “limited user” account
thumbs.db removed after installation
the .exe must be in the root folder for the game
game must not require additional software (ie direct x 10, MS c++ redistributable) - ok, this sounds insane, it would automatically rule out a crapload of games, there must be something here that I don’t understand
you need to be able to show a variety of their distribution logos (in game), so:
logos should be pulled from a branding folder ([game root]\branding\splash1.jpg)
game needs to be flexible in the number of logos to display