A dev-friendly move from a dev-friendly company
In brief: Game distribution platforms do occasionally make decisions that can significantly benefit developers — see the Epic Games Store’s 12 percent revenue cut — but indie gaming marketplace Itch.io’s latest announcement is particularly generous. On Black Friday, one of the biggest sales days of the year (even for video games), the site will be foregoing its revenue share entirely, and funneling that cash directly to developers.
Technically, developers can already achieve a similar effect — Itch.io has something it calls “open revenue sharing.” Just like gamers can pay what they want for many Itch.io titles, developers can pick what percentage of the profits they want to pass on to the platform that hosts their content.
However, by default, this revenue split is set at ten percent (still far below the industry standard of 30 percent), which is not an insignificant sum for indie studios. While developers can lower this all the way to zero percent if they please, most tend to leave it as-is, or are perhaps not even aware of the control’s existence.
On Black Friday (November 27), Itch.io’s zero percent split will be largely automatic. The only thing developers need to do is set their games on sale — after that, everything will be taken care of on Itch.io’s end.
If you’re interested in indie games and you have some cash to spare, be sure to stop by Itch.io next week and support some of your favorite developers. Though the majority of the titles on the website are lesser-known projects, there are a few slightly bigger names available.
Examples include Twitch darling Among Us, surreal sidescroller Night in the Woods, intense platformer Celeste, and (a personal favorite of mine) cyberpunk bartending sim VA-11 Hall-A.