Opinion PC

Why You Should Support Developers Outside Of Steam


Steam is a massive marketplace for games, but it’s not the best. This isn’t a bash at Valve or Steam in general, it’s an article that will highlight exactly how you can better support the developers you’re buying a game from. Steam takes a 30% cut from the revenue a developer makes from a game sale. Remember that if a game also has a publisher, the developer will lose even more of the remaining 70%, meaning the profit margins there are tiny. However, other marketplaces exist, and they offer a better cut.

Something that really highlighted this to me is the 10 month sales data on Mixolumia. Sure, it’s a game you’ve never heard of, but it’s got some interesting facts. First, the game has sold 713 units on Steam, generating revenue of $6,202. It may be pounds but the currency wasn’t provided. In that same time, the game sold 1,776 units on Itch.io and made $17,906 in revenue. Revenue, for those who aren’t aware, is just the game’s sales. That’s not profit, so the dev will still need to pay other expenses out of this. Still, you can clearly see which storefront has been more profitable for them, given that one has more than double the sales figures.

Breaking this down further, you can see that even if the developer had sold the same number of units across both storefronts, they would have made less money through Steam. The storefront takes so much of a cut that even with the exact same numbers, the game wouldn’t have generated as much revenue and therefore profit. With this in mind, it’s clear where you need to go if you want to support developers more, anywhere but Steam.

As I said at the top, this isn’t an anti-Steam piece. What I want to get across is that you have options. Sure, Steam is where all your games are, but does that matter if you can slightly improve the money a developer is getting from a game you love? I don’t think so. That’s why storefronts like the Epic Game Store and Itch.io are so essential to this industry. The more games that are also offered there, the better games will become as developers make more money.

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