GOG.com have taken the fight to competitors Steam and their indie submission service Greenlight by opening their own indie submission portal, which looks to tackle some of the criticism Steam have received for Greenlight.
Some claim that Steam’s submission portal for the indie community, titled Greenlight, is a risky venture for developers. This worry comes from the $100 entry fee, the promotion of the service the developer must go through and the fact there is no guarenteed reward after all of this effort.
GOG seems to have responded to the feedback that some ticked off developers have given Steam’s contentious service as they have moulded a service to respond to those who claim that Steam is too hands-off for the liking of certain developers.
The site have claimed that they are “not machines” and that they “talk (to developers)”, which seems to be a direct shot at Steam.
It looks as though GOG’s indie portal will call for developers to submit their games to GOG themselves, rather than to the wider community as is apparent in Steam’s Greenlight.
This will result in GOG being the gatekeeper and having the final word on which games will make it onto the service and which games will not.
There are some obvious advantages to this practice, for one developers will gain free feedback from industry professionals on their indie title. It will also ensure that the community that will be receiving the game will actually be interested in the title, as GOG claim “We know our users’ tastes, and we do our best to present them with a selection of DRM-free games they’ll enjoy.”
The company claim no game submitted will go without feedback, and they say that developers will be contacted directly with feedback within two business weeks.
One downside to this promise is that GOG may find themselves inundated with developers attempting to take advantage of the service, attempting to glean some cheap feedback for their games, which could see GOG changing the service or limiting the policies they have set out.
If developers do get their titles past the consultancy stage then GOG will help them out financially. A “royalty advance” service will see developers gain a larger cut than the industry standard for a while, before settling on the general 70/30 split which is average in the industry. GOG also look set to provide marketing support and social media advertising, which is pretty standard on GOG.
Excitingly, if you make it onto GOG, they’ll even help you out financially. The average industry cut is 70/30 in the developer’s favour, but GOG will provide a “royalty advance”, and then split the cut 60/40 until the advance is paid off, then switch to the 70/30 split when it’s covered. They’ll also provide marketing support, but advertising on social media and the like is usual on GOG.
Steam’s community based approach obviously has many points that should be commended for a plethora of reasons, but what GOG look to have with their portal will be more accountability and more guarantees than Steam.