Indie Steam

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by mot, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Backov

    Original Member

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    Just to comment on this: Even if this DOES get off the ground, 10% won't cut it.

    To even come close to that rate, the business in question (Indie Steam) needs its own merchant account to charge visas. That takes some cash and an incorporate business. That means somebody has to front that money, and someone has to admin the corp. So that leaves maybe 7% for the corp, bandwidth, advertising, etc. Do you really think that "indie steam" is going to be successful enough to do much with 7% of its gross revenue?

    Having been in that position before, I won't even go into all the other myriad pain that having a merchant account and having to deal with Visa/MC/etc brings.

    As many people have said - this isn't a technical problem, it's a business one.

    If you'd built it 6-7 years ago (which is when I was pitching this exact same idea), you might have had a chance.
     
    #41 Backov, Feb 1, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  2. vjvj

    Indie Author

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    Did you even read through this thread?

    If you want to help, help with the business/marketing side of things. You can start with a cost and ROI analysis. There's no point in writing any code until that gets done. Not to mention the fact that a monkey could write a lot of the code required :D
     
  3. Acord

    Acord New Member

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    The ROI is going to depend largely on how many people would be willing to support such a product, by placing their own games on it. Certainly, if it launches with only 5 - 10 games available, it will be a failure. Secondly, and this is something that Steam is terrible at, there is the opportunity to sell cards with points(a la wiiware) or simply even selling points to an account, and potentially capture a younger market, while simplifying purchases dramatically.

    The ROI also should take into account that the initial product would probably be created by unpaid labor.
     
  4. OremLK

    Indie Author

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    There's also Penny Arcade's new site, Greenhouse. I assume they're pretty selective about what gets on the service, but it is certainly growing, gradually.
     
  5. Backov

    Original Member

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    Your "unpaid labor" is what the real world calls an "equity contribution", and it would, unless it were run by a bunch of 14 year olds.

    I'm still interested to hear someone make the business case, instead of just hand-waving and saying that it all work really awesome.
     
  6. saintxi

    saintxi New Member

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    Aymes - I've seen http://archivegames.net/ they appear to be an indie friendly games download service with a 'client side app' that does the download stuff for you - and their developer support is excellent :)

    I'm a newgrounds fan myself - lots of submissions and the good stuff is very carefully filtered up to the top of the pile. I think the same kind of mechanic would be needed for an indie site, let anyone sell games through it - but focus attention on quality material to keep visitors supplied with the best games.

    You could help get it off the ground with regular affilate sales of the better indie games too - provides an instant 'catalog' when you start up.
     
  7. PoV

    PoV
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    Wow, this $1 I was going to spend on a pack of gum can go a long way with odds like that. Or I could have gum now. :D
     
  8. Gibbz

    Original Member

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    Ive just tried out http://archivegames.net their interface is very simple and not very intuitive. But it works ok.

    ok so then why not get started by asking who would be interested in putting their games up for download?

    I have 2x I am willing to put up.
     
  9. vjvj

    Indie Author

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    I'll take a stab at it :D

    Ok, so you get your game on Indie Steam. The client and server tech are mature and solid. No more fear of rejection from or feeling of being passed over from Valve. But wait, the forces responsible for said passing over are also the forces that command a community consisting of millions of users. Indie Steam doesn't have that kind of traction.

    So you begin asking yourself "does Indie Steam offer a title with similar sales numbers i.e. in the millions, like Half Life 2?". Of course not.

    So you begin thinking of ways to build the userbase up through community efforts. But wait; without a big game to anchor that community off of (e.g. Counterstrike), you have nowhere to start. Indie Steam's target demographic is people who play match 3, gem swap, hidden object, retro platformers, time management, retro platformers with shitty graphics, tower defense, retro platformers with no gameplay but have some some artsy thing going, retro RPGs with isometric 2D graphics but great gameplay and story, some interesting efforts in the casual RTS, 4X, and 3D scenes, sim games, sim games with shitty graphics, and something that does something really neat with physics. That's not a market. How do you create a community out of a kitchen sink like that?

    Then you realize that although there are many efforts to recreate Steam's success, the only two real players are Steam and Games for Windows Live. And GFWL is only in a distant second because MS, at the end of the day, sees Windows gaming as cannibalizing the 360's business. If MS ever decides to put money into GFWL, you can bet there will be a war going.

    So wait, why are we doing this again?

    I'm not saying Indie Steam can't work as a portal and increase sales for anybody. I could honestly see that happening with the right people working on it. But Steam isn't just a portal. It's something much bigger than that, and arguably something that partially fell on their lap with the success of their titles. Few companies can pull off what Valve has done with Steam.
     
  10. Acord

    Acord New Member

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    You seem knowledgable. Why don't you contribute to the idea?
     
  11. thegamedesigner

    Indie Author

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    Revolution Games Network

    There is the Revolution Games Network. Slated to open last September, they have faced all sorts of delays. However, they've overcome and are moving forward.

    They offer a online store, marketing, social networking, etc. The only problem is they are a subbranch of ECM, which is a DRM company, so they have non-indie ideas on DRM.

    But still, it is quite close to an indie steam. It is a really big deal for someone to just be able to upload his game with ease. I know I struggled to get a store, some ads, some face time, etc, and wrote my own DRM (I don't think my next game will have any). However, for a starter pack, this does all that, it is quite nice.

    (I don't work for them or anything, I just like the site).

    rgngames.com

    -Michael.
     
  12. Jeff

    Indie Author

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    I'm pretty sure Greenhouse went the way of Manifesto Games. They are not even monitoring their own forum: http://forum.playgreenhouse.com/jforum/posts/list/1265.page
     
  13. Backov

    Original Member

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    I have been, here's some more:

    Manifesto started with 250k of seed capital, and as far as I know, were unable to raise any more. They've basically failed to become any meaningful part of the market. For them to have succeeded, they needed more capital, but no one was willing to invest it.

    This was with Kostikyan(sp?) and a few other bizdev types on board.

    So, for indie steam to be a success, you need more than 250k in starter capital, some solid biz dev guys to pitch the VCs, and solid implementation (by FAR the easiest part). For capital, I would estimate you'd need at least a cool million, probably more - hell, that flash football game got 8mil. That would allow you to advertise and pursue developers.

    vjvj made a lot of good points above as well - that's what it would look like if you tried to shoestring it. You'd end up with a possibly well designed, well implemented portal that probably just broke even, and didn't push any traffic.
     
  14. PlayMGE

    PlayMGE New Member

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    Coding the portal in php, mysql, etc: Easy.
    Adding a commerce provider: Easy.
    Getting games on the site: Easy.

    Where do I sign up?
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    Oh...yah...forgot 1 thing....

    Getting enough exposure to bring in even a fraction of the traffic BFG, Reflexive, etc, gets: Extremely difficult, very expensive, and would take a very long time.
     
  15. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    just an idea I had today...

    Yes that would be the problem. However take into account that to make same money you "only" need 1/10 of exposure (since you get more per sale).
    Actually, I think are VENDORS that should build such a system. With BMT micro for example you can add to same shopping cart products from DIFFERENT developers.
    Now, they should just add a checkbox on the product page like "[ ] include my product for cross-selling" and for example someone buying my visual novels would get a "recommended" box with Hanako games (of course games that match the same genre are more likely to work).
    That would require minimal effort and could increase developer and vendor sales.

    I think that vendors need to start thinking bigger, and start to offer more ways to increase exposure/sales :)
     
  16. hippocoder

    Indie Author

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    the thing is, if indie steam was bundled with all our titles collectively, it would be pretty much spreading fast. The question is: are we prepared to give other indies our customers?
     

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