The sales of independent video games on Steam have fallen by 70% so far in 2019, while net profits have also been reduced by 47%, ahead of an analytical report by No More Robots, founded by Mike Rose.
The dominance of Steam in the digital distribution of video games is fading away slowly, especially after the arrival of the Epic Games Store (which gives away games every week). This has resulted in a gradual fall of interest for independent development studios; they no longer find a reason to continue betting only on Valve’s solution.
According to Rose’s study, if we stick to independent games, the average sale is 1500 units on the platform. In 2018 the average was 5000 units. The benefits, which were once $30,000, are now $16,000. The methodology for measuring data to carry out the study was striclty based on video games with at least ten reviews of users who bought that game (not including AAA).
Another interesting aspect that can be extracted from the report is that the retail price has fallen slightly. Before, the average was 12 dollars, now it is 10 dollars. Independent games are selling below what they could on Steam. There are 2 factors to consider, which is the emergence of free to play (initially free video games but with micro transactions within the experience), and also subscription services.
Times are changing and, at least for now, the independent developer does not benefit from the traditional low-budget game sales model on Steam.
Epic Games Store is one of those responsible for this situation, especially when the net profit for developers is so uneven between Steam and the Epic platform: from 70% to 88% under normal conditions.
I should add it that, in the words of the Epic Games Store itself, 40% of the its users do not have a Steam account. For the moment and if nothing changes, Steam will continue with its current strategy: 70% for developers and 30% for Valve unless they exceed 10 million dollars in profit, which will increase to 75% or 80% if the benefits are over 50 million dollars.
In the case of Epic Games Store, 88% of the profits go to the developers.
Some users also say that Steam has to upgrade their library for a better experience. Other users did not agree with this.
Recently, the beta of the new Steam Library has been announced and it will begin on September 17. Steam hopes with this new look that their users will stay with them and not move to other stores.
Once the players download and install it, they will notice that their collection of digital games now has a new look, which is more modern by changing the face and implementing new functions that seek to deliver a better experience.
For example, the new homepage highlights what your friends are playing; It lets you quickly access your favorite titles and even reminds you about the existence of some games that you have forgotten, but recently updated.
Another important element will be the Collections, which will let you organize your library with different tags. The interesting thing is that Steam will automatically assemble the collection according to your labels and in the future will put in them the games that have to be there. It is worth mentioning that if you have already organized your library into categories, it will automatically become into collections.
The pages of the games in your collection will also be renewed to present a section that shows the achievements you have unlocked or your screenshots. In other words, it is a kind of activity log that will show the latest that you and your friends have done in different games.