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Kongregate launching new download games store Kartridge this summer

Publisher readies its own Steam rival with no upload fees and support for pay-what-you-want games

Indie publisher Kongregate hopes to shake up the digital distribution scene with the announcement of its new downloadable games platform Kartridge.

The store will be launched on PC this summer and is pitched at developers of all sizes, with the company promising them "full control over their games", which will also encompass their pricing model.

In addition to premium and free-to-play games, developers will be able to release ad-supported titles or even games where customers can pay what they want.

The new store is positioned as an evolution of the current Kongregate web games store, not a replacement. The company will continue operating its previously established marketplace, as well as its mobile publishing business.

Kongregate also stresses that there will be no upload fees - no doubt to differentiate itself from the $100 Steam Direct fee Valve has been charging smaller developers since last summer.

Developers will also be able to create their own store pages for their games, which can be tailored to suit their brands, and communicate directly with customers.

For the players themselves, Kartridge will have the typical community features, such as achievements, chats, forums, and rewards based on their in-game progress.

Kongregate co-founder and CEO Emily Greer promised a "combination of editorial curation and algorithm-focused game surfacing" will help to show "the right game to the right player at the right time."

"This approach will help surface titles that are getting lost in other marketplaces and will help players find new content they didn't know they'd love," she continued, no doubt referencing ongoing complaints about the debatable curation on Valve's market-leading platform.

She told GamesIndustry.biz: "We acknowledge Steam's leadership in the industry, but we feel there is a gap in the market offering that we are uniquely qualified to remedy. We have more than 10 years of experience running a thriving gaming community and online gaming destination. Our publishing business has given us a clear perspective into what developers need to be successful. With Kartridge, we're combining our knowledge from both businesses to make a platform that truly meets the needs of both spaces unlike any other products on the market.

"We will be releasing additional detail on the platform in the coming months that will further highlight the platforms differentiation from the market."

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