PC indies need Steam to survive, says Escape Goat developer

Thursday, 10th October 2013 11:45 GMT By Dave Cook

Steam is an essential cog in the survival of indies, according to Escape Goat developer Ian Stocker. Studio Magical Time Bean launched the game on Valve’s marketplace yesterday, almost a year after it was approved on Steam Greenlight.

Speaking with Polygon, Stocker said, “To survive as a PC indie dev, you really have to have your games on Steam. 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.”

Stocker is now working on Escape Goat 2 – which is also on Steam Greenlight now – and you can get the first game on Steam at 20% off now.




  1. Stardog

    This is why I wish Steam was as open as Google Play. We’d get a lot more developers making some insane games. Most dev’s have to go elsewhere.

    Cue the boring “but I don’t want tons of crap flooding the market” opinion.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. TheWulf


    I have that opinion because it’s nearly impossible to find anything at all amidst the dross of the android market. So many city builders. Bad, exploitative city builders.

    Steam is a meritocracy and that’s the best possible thing a storefront could be, in my opinion. Greenlight ensures that if your game is good, it’ll end up on Steam. And even if it doesn’t, being noticeable on Greenlight will drive enough people towards your own site for sales.

    It’s a system of madness, yet in the madness is a refined, perfect meritocracy that does indeed work. Due to this meritocracy, Valve can hand-pick indies to advertise on their frontpage, without getting overloaded by a torrent-like flood of indies, neverending, and all of them vying for attention. There’s only so much room on a frontpage.

    So, yes, Steam is gated based upon merit. Is that a bad thing? Not in my opinion. And if you really want something, the developer will likely be selling it from their site, and they’ll be linking their site and humble sotre from their Greenlight.

    Recent favourite of mine, Icebound, will be up on Greenlight too and the developer of that visual novel plans to do just that.

    It works. It might make some people frustrated sometimes, but it’s proved time and again that it works.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. pcbros

    @1 – A developer can just sell a DRM free copy on his own or through Kickstarter if he’s not able to go through Steam.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. DSB

    @1 Could you at least explain how tons of crap makes a service better?

    #4 1 year ago
  5. ChunkyLover112

    There’s a typo in the title, silly writer. Nobody “needs” Steam.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Pitts

    @1- Plenty of developers make great, unique games without having to open Steam to your flood of crap.

    @5- Apparently, some indies do.

    #6 1 year ago

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