Previously, in a Tutorial Tuesdays post entitled “Marketing for Indies – PR, Social Media, and Game Trailers“, I mentioned indie game selling site itch.io. In the post I described itch.io as “an indie distribution site where the developers get to keep 100% of their proceeds. It also facilitates the creation and exhibition of game jams.” That description deserves further explanation, even clarification, and itch.io deserves its own Freebie Fridays! feature. So here it is! Where to Sell Indie Games: itch.io.
Itch.io is a website that hosts and sells indie games. It features a “pay-what-you-want” model for buyers and sellers. For developers what that means is that you get to decide what percentage of your sales go towards supporting itch.io. Therefor it can be a completely free resource! While it has the potential to be completely free, you really should pay your fair fare of course. Maybe even then some. It’s important the site be sustainable as it offers indie developers several unique features:
- Gatekeeper-free listing
- Content creators retain ownership of their creations
- “Pay-what-you-want” options for both buyers and sellers
- Accepts Stripe and Paypal
- Accepts Bitcoin (via Stripe)
- Game jam hosting
Those are the pros, and they are significant. The downside of selling through itch.io, however, is the same downside for everything indie: discoverability. Indie games struggle with publicity; by extension, indie game sites struggle with publicity too. The customer base at a strictly indie game selling site just isn’t going to be that big. As indie developers know though, every problem is also an opportunity. The silver lining here is that while the customer base isn’t big, it has self-selected for the express purpose of downloading indie titles. It’s niche, in other words. Purveyors of the quirky and experimental should be able to make itch.io work to their advantage.