Difference between revisions of "Game Distribution Platforms"

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Documenteer digital distribution platforms:
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{{Volatile|June 2015|February 2022}}
  
I am aware of the following online videogame distribution platforms:
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I am aware of the following online videogame distribution platforms.
  
These platforms allow you to create an account, buy a game, and keep track of it in your account. You can download it later, even after a few years, by logging in to your account.
+
These platforms allow you to create an account, buy a game, and keep track of it in your account. You can download it later, even after a few years, by logging in to your account. As such, they are different from an online-store, where you can only download it at the time you buy it, but not later.
  
Note that many platforms provide codes to download bought games on other platforms as well. In particular, many platforms provide Steam keys.
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Note that many platforms provide keys to download bought games on other platforms as well. In particular, many platforms provide Steam keys.
  
{|  
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{|class="wikitable"
! Name !! Platforms !! # OS X titles !! DRM of own platform !! Distribution
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! Name !! Platforms !! Number of mac OS titles !! DRM of own platform !! Distribution
 
|-
 
|-
| Apple App Store || OS X || Many commercial games. [http://www.statista.com/statistics/270291/popular-categories-in-the-app-store/ ~300.000 titles] || DRM || Direct download
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| [https://store.steampowered.com/ Steam] || Windows, mac OS, Linux || Most commercial games. 2000 titles in 2015, [https://store.steampowered.com/search/?category1=998&os=mac 11,000 titles] in 2022. || DRM || Direct download
 
|-
 
|-
| [https://store.steampowered.com/ Steam] || Windows, OS X, Linux || Most commercial games. [http://store.steampowered.com/search/?os=mac#sort_by=_ASC&category1=998&os=mac&page=1 2000 titles] || DRM || Direct download
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| [https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/mac-games/id12006?mt=12 Apple App Store] || mac OS || Commercial and individual developers. [https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/mac-games/id12006?mt=12 7000 titles] in 2015 || DRM || Direct download or subscription fee
 
|-
 
|-
| [http://www.gamersgate.com/ Gamersgate] || Windows, OS X, Linux, Android || [http://www.gamersgate.com/games?filter=fullgames&state=available&pg=1 1200 titles] || DRM-free || Steam, Uplay, Origin or direct-download
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| [https://www.humblebundle.com/store Humble Bundle] || Windows, mac OS, Android || Mostly Indie. 1100 titles (500 DRM-free) in 2015. [https://www.humblebundle.com/store/search?platform=mac 3800 titles] (1100 DRM-free) in 2022. || DRM-free || Steam, Origin or direct-download
 
|-
 
|-
| [http://www.desura.com/ Desura] || Windows, OS X, Linux || Mostly Indie. [http://www.desura.com/platforms/set/mac 1200 titles] || DRM-free || Steam or direct-download
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| [https://www.gog.com/ Gog] || Windows, mac OS, Linux || Old and Indie. 500 titles in 2015. [https://www.gog.com/games?systems=osx 1300 titles] in 2022 (all DRM-free) || DRM-free || Direct download
 
|-
 
|-
| [http://www.gog.com/ Gog] || Windows, OS X, Linux || Old and Indie. [http://www.gog.com/games##system=osx_106,osx_107 500 titles] || DRM-free || Direct download
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| [http://www.gamersgate.com/ Gamersgate] || Windows, mac OS, Linux, Android || 1200 titles (500 DRM-free) in 2015 [https://www.gamersgate.com/games?filter=fullgames&state=available&pg=1 1100 titles] in 2022 || Left to publishers || Steam, Uplay, Origin or (rarely) direct-download
 
|-
 
|-
| [https://www.humblebundle.com/store Humble Bundle] || Windows, OS X, Android || Mostly Indie. [https://www.humblebundle.com/store/search/platform/mac 500 titles] || DRM-free || Steam or direct-download
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| [https://www.epicgames.com/ Epic Games store] || Windows, mac OS || Did not exists in 2015, [https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/browse?tag=Mac%20OS 300 titles] in 2022 || Left to publishers || Direct-download
 
|-
 
|-
| [http://www.shinyloot.com/ Shinyloot] || Windows, OS X || Mostly Indie. [http://www.shinyloot.com/mac-games 150 titles] || DRM-free || Direct-download, Steam or Desura
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| [https://www.origin.com/ Origin / EA Desktop] || Windows, mac OS || EA games only. 30 games in 2015, [https://www.origin.com/en-nl/store/browse/mac-download/basegame 16 titles] in 2022 || Strict DRM || Direct-download or subscription fee
 
|-
 
|-
| Uplay || Windows, Console, iOS || Ubisoft games only || DRM || Direct-download
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| [https://www.microsoft.com/nl-nl/store/games Microsoft store] || Windows, XBox || [https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/games N/A] || Unknown || Direct-download or subscription fee
 
|-
 
|-
| Origin || Windows, OS X || EA games only || DRM || Direct-download
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| [https://uplay.ubi.com Uplay] || Windows, Console, iOS || Ubisoft games only || DRM || Direct-download
|-
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| Green Man Gaming || Windows, OS X || Unknown || N/A? || Steam
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|-
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| GameFly Digital || Console || N/A || DRM || Monthly subscription fee
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|-
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| GameStop || Windows, Console || N/A || Unknown || Direct-download
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|-
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| OUYA || Own OUYA console || N/A || DRM-free || Direct-download
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|}
 
|}
  
Number of titles is measured at June 2015, by counting the number of Mac games, excluding downloadable content (DLC).
+
Number of titles was measured in June 2015 and February 2022, by counting the number of Mac games, excluding downloadable content (DLC).
  
Most distribution platforms take about 30% of the cost. Humble Bundle, because it only keeps about 10%, although that excludes about 6% for transaction fees, and another 10% for charity.
+
The DRM enforced by Steam is that you can only play a single game from your library at the same time, counting games played on other computers, or shared with family members. Origin has a similar DRM, but also enforces that this with the purchasing shop. This means you can't gift games to others, and if you purchased an EA game at Steam, both Origin and Steam launchers must be running, and are enforcing their DRM at the same time. Games in the Epic store may also have DRM, but that's enforced by the game, not by the Epic launcher.
 +
 
 +
Most distribution platforms take about 30% of the cost. Humble Bundle only keeps about 10%, although that excludes about 6% for transaction fees, and another 10% for charity. For a slightly more recent overview, Mana marketing blog posted a [https://www.manamark.com/blog/2016/08/22/sell-indie-games-guide/ 15+ indie-friendly platforms guide]. Apple is most expensive with 30% (15% for subscriptions after the first year) and $100/year. [https://steamcommunity.com/games/593110/announcements/detail/1265922321514182595 Steam requests a $100 up-front fee] to prevent fake games submissions, which is re-imbursed after the game sells $1000 or more. Gog offers an option to pay royalties in advance to developers, in exchange for a fee of 40% instead of 30% (until the royalties have been paid of).
  
 
The prices of all platforms are usually the same, although in particular Steam often has deep discounts (up to 80%) during summer and Christmas season. Humble Bundle has weekly bundles which are 'pay what you want'.
 
The prices of all platforms are usually the same, although in particular Steam often has deep discounts (up to 80%) during summer and Christmas season. Humble Bundle has weekly bundles which are 'pay what you want'.
Line 49: Line 43:
 
;Playfire:merged into Green Man Gaming
 
;Playfire:merged into Green Man Gaming
 
;Games for Windows Marketplace:merged into Xbox Live
 
;Games for Windows Marketplace:merged into Xbox Live
 +
;OUYA (open source console):defunct since 2015
 +
;Desura:went bankrupt in 2015 and 2020, and now contains free-to-play web games only
 +
;Shinyloot:defunct
 +
;GameFly Digital:transformed into a regular show.
 +
;GamesRocket:Now seemingly sells retro arcade hardware. Nice, but no longer a game distribution platform.
  
 
== Other Stores ==
 
== Other Stores ==
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Many publishers, like Telltale or Auran, offer their own digital download solutions.
 
Many publishers, like Telltale or Auran, offer their own digital download solutions.
 +
 +
G2A.com offers a marketplace, seemingly for second hand games (though I'm not clear how this works, it's not always possible to transfer the usages rights between accounts on game distribution platforms).
  
 
[[Category:Comparison]]
 
[[Category:Comparison]]
[[Category:Software]]
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[[Category:Games]]

Latest revision as of 12:41, 13 February 2022

This article was written in June 2015, and last updated in February 2022. Given the volatile nature of this topic, expect that the content of this article is outdated after about two years time.

I am aware of the following online videogame distribution platforms.

These platforms allow you to create an account, buy a game, and keep track of it in your account. You can download it later, even after a few years, by logging in to your account. As such, they are different from an online-store, where you can only download it at the time you buy it, but not later.

Note that many platforms provide keys to download bought games on other platforms as well. In particular, many platforms provide Steam keys.

Name Platforms Number of mac OS titles DRM of own platform Distribution
Steam Windows, mac OS, Linux Most commercial games. 2000 titles in 2015, 11,000 titles in 2022. DRM Direct download
Apple App Store mac OS Commercial and individual developers. 7000 titles in 2015 DRM Direct download or subscription fee
Humble Bundle Windows, mac OS, Android Mostly Indie. 1100 titles (500 DRM-free) in 2015. 3800 titles (1100 DRM-free) in 2022. DRM-free Steam, Origin or direct-download
Gog Windows, mac OS, Linux Old and Indie. 500 titles in 2015. 1300 titles in 2022 (all DRM-free) DRM-free Direct download
Gamersgate Windows, mac OS, Linux, Android 1200 titles (500 DRM-free) in 2015 1100 titles in 2022 Left to publishers Steam, Uplay, Origin or (rarely) direct-download
Epic Games store Windows, mac OS Did not exists in 2015, 300 titles in 2022 Left to publishers Direct-download
Origin / EA Desktop Windows, mac OS EA games only. 30 games in 2015, 16 titles in 2022 Strict DRM Direct-download or subscription fee
Microsoft store Windows, XBox N/A Unknown Direct-download or subscription fee
Uplay Windows, Console, iOS Ubisoft games only DRM Direct-download

Number of titles was measured in June 2015 and February 2022, by counting the number of Mac games, excluding downloadable content (DLC).

The DRM enforced by Steam is that you can only play a single game from your library at the same time, counting games played on other computers, or shared with family members. Origin has a similar DRM, but also enforces that this with the purchasing shop. This means you can't gift games to others, and if you purchased an EA game at Steam, both Origin and Steam launchers must be running, and are enforcing their DRM at the same time. Games in the Epic store may also have DRM, but that's enforced by the game, not by the Epic launcher.

Most distribution platforms take about 30% of the cost. Humble Bundle only keeps about 10%, although that excludes about 6% for transaction fees, and another 10% for charity. For a slightly more recent overview, Mana marketing blog posted a 15+ indie-friendly platforms guide. Apple is most expensive with 30% (15% for subscriptions after the first year) and $100/year. Steam requests a $100 up-front fee to prevent fake games submissions, which is re-imbursed after the game sells $1000 or more. Gog offers an option to pay royalties in advance to developers, in exchange for a fee of 40% instead of 30% (until the royalties have been paid of).

The prices of all platforms are usually the same, although in particular Steam often has deep discounts (up to 80%) during summer and Christmas season. Humble Bundle has weekly bundles which are 'pay what you want'.

Defunct Platforms

Impulse
merged into GameStop
Direct2Drive
merged into GameFly Digital
Playfire
merged into Green Man Gaming
Games for Windows Marketplace
merged into Xbox Live
OUYA (open source console)
defunct since 2015
Desura
went bankrupt in 2015 and 2020, and now contains free-to-play web games only
Shinyloot
defunct
GameFly Digital
transformed into a regular show.
GamesRocket
Now seemingly sells retro arcade hardware. Nice, but no longer a game distribution platform.

Other Stores

Regular stores, like Amazon.com may also offer direct downloads.

Many publishers, like Telltale or Auran, offer their own digital download solutions.

G2A.com offers a marketplace, seemingly for second hand games (though I'm not clear how this works, it's not always possible to transfer the usages rights between accounts on game distribution platforms).