Escape Goat dev: PC indies need Steam to survive

"You're going to need to be on Steam to make a living"

Magical Time Bean's Ian Stocker has spoken of his relief at being chosen for the Steam Greenlight initiative, which sees his game Escape Goat released on the platform after a year.

"To survive as a PC indie dev, you really have to have your games on Steam," the game designer told Polygon.

"There are exceptions to this, like Minecraft, but statistically speaking, you're going to need to be on Steam to make a living. Before PAX, and the whole Greenlight thing came through for me, I had just about given up on being a PC-centered developer, and planned to put all my efforts towards consoles. It was encouraging to see Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo suddenly become so indie-friendly, with self publishing on their new consoles and stuff like that."

Magical Time Bean is now at work on Escape Goat 2.

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Latest comments (5)

Ruben Monteiro Engineer 5 years ago
Powerful reality check in such a short statement. Spot on.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus5 years ago
That's actually the benefit of things like the Not On Steam Sale. It pointed out great games that weren't on the service, got them some much needed revenue, and even better, got a few of those games on the service.

(FWIW: I bought Escape Goat again now that it's on Steam - I <3 me my cheevos - and the 2011 GOTY candidate is still amazing)
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Sergio Rosa "Somewhat-Creative Director", Domaginarium5 years ago
Every time this discussion takes place, many of the most-renowned indies take part and talk about how you really don't need Steam, because "if you build it, they will come." Ironically, many if those indies only sell their games through Steam, so how can we expect players to stop their "I'll buy it when it's on Steam" if the developers that can really do something about it encourage players to use only Steam?
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd5 years ago
Honestly, as someone who loves PC gaming but has little time to sort through discoverability problems, I'm among the "I'll buy it when it's on Steam" audience. I realize this seems unfair to people who don't get on Steam, but there are more great games on Steam than most people could play over the course of a decade already... it's hard to give a good reason why we should look elsewhere for games.
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@Nicholas You've pointed out the unfortunate difficulty with Steam: a victim of its own success, it's becoming more like the app store, too overcrowded with sub-par games that better games are getting lost. The Greenlight system seems unable to support both throughput & quality at the same time and If developers are getting slowly turned off using Steam (and they are) the user will suffer in the end. Something ought to change to keep it dynamic.
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