Indie marketplace and distribution site, itch.io, will be introducing open revenue sharing in order for the platform to start generating money and “have a sustainable business model”.
Games on itch.io are priced using a pay-what-you-want-above-the-minimum approach. That means some are free of charge but with an option to donate to the developer while others have a minimum charge and the option to add that same extra donation on top. Currently itch.io doesn’t take a cut from that – as per the blog entry by founder Leaf Corcoran that option was disabled for the Ludum Dare October Challenge in 2013 and never turned back on because the site costs were manageable.
The new strategy will take effect from 23 March and will allow developers to set a revenue split for their game on the site at anywhere from 0-100%. The default rate will be 10% with an option to switch to “industry standard (30%)” which is the percentage Valve gets for things sold via Steam and a slider for anything else.
As part of a separate post explaining itch.io’s mission Corcoran explains:
“You might be saying ‘well that sounds pretty risky, what if everyone sets [the slider] to 0?’ We think that’s a risk we’re willing to take in the spirit of encouraging the generous and supportive community that’s already developed around itch.io.”
In case you weren’t aware of the site before, I head to itch.io most days just to see what’s appeared. Sometimes there are gems, sometimes reruns, sometimes bafflement and nonsense. Currently I’m wondering if I can play as two people for long enough to get Itty Bitty Trainwrecks to work.