Online promoter IndieGameStand.com has added its own store, after a year of providing a unique take on the “pay what you want” model. Before, it released one game every 96 hours, as a featured promotion, for a user-defined price. Games include Really Big Sky, Pid, Waking Mars and many other popular titles. They’ll retain this deal model, but a store will now add a way for users to browse many more desired items. Additionally, developers can rely on a revenue split of 75/25 and fast approval times that can go as low as one or two days. It’s also possible to link to social media such as Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter for extra exposure. We sent some questions to Michael Gnade of IndieGameStand (IGS) to discuss yet another storefront.
Daav: The revenue split is better than Steam/GOG, but a considerable drop from the Humble Store’s 95/5. What’s the decision behind the split and what would be the advantage of dealing through IGS, apart from just another way to sell?
Michael Gnade: The Humble Store is a widget that you put on your own site – not a store where you can browse all of the games together. If we were ever to do a direct selling tool for an indie developer’s website like the Humble Widget – our cut would be similar/competitive. The biggest advantage of dealing with IGS is that we are entirely indie focused and have very little red tape. Developers can sell their game at any point during their development (alpha/beta/etc) and continually stay in touch with their customers (via our built-in newsletter) and offer their game on multiple platforms and distribution services for every customer. You may buy a game on IGS that is only for Windows, but when the developer uploads a Mac port – you’ll get that too. If the game is greenlit, they can easily upload steam keys that will automatically be distributed to customers.
Daav: Several games, such as the Cognition series for instance, don’t come with Steam keys; a highly requested feature. Again, the Humble Store does. What’s the reason behind that and can we expect games and early access titles to receive a Steam key post-launch?
Michael Gnade: Our store completely supports Steam, Desura, and GOG keys. All the developer needs to do is upload Steam keys to the self-service developer portal and they will be provided. Cognition was recently greenlit and we work closely with them. They will absolutely upload Steam keys for IGS customers and may just be a little behind the 8-ball since their debut on Steam is so recent. You can ask them yourself on our Thursday Twitch Webcast when we interview them, but they are an exception. You can absolutely expect to receive Steam keys for games that are greenlit that you bought on IGS. A great example of this process is with Gnomoria. We featured that game almost a year ago on our site when it was in Alpha. It sold a ton of copies in 96 hours and was greenlit on steam a week after our featured sale. In March, Gnomoria was added to Steam Early Access and the developer uploaded Steam keys that were given to the thousands of IGS customers that supported him.
What keys developers upload and provide to customers on our site is completely up to them – every developer is different and we just provide the platform and make recommendations if they ask us. We don’t mandate Steam keys or anything else, so a game here or there not having keys may happen. The vast majority of folks upload Steam keys because they realize it will help them sell their game, but there are always outliers.
Editor’s note: Cognition has, in the process of this development, already received Steam keys for several episodes, which should show the speed of the backend tools.
Daav: You say you support GOG keys. That’s an interesting concept; I don’t believe I’ve seen it elsewhere. Do you think that may give you an edge as a storefront?
Michael Gnade: GOG keys do not have an icon in the browse pages, but if you go to a game like Waking Mars, you’ll see the redeem on GOG (edit: left side). I don’t think having one service keys or not gives us any edge. I think the flexibility and openness of our platform and how we approach things is an edge, though so all of these little things (like GOG keys) add up.
To celebrate the launch of the new platform, several games are currently available at a discount. You can find the IndieGameStand store here.