Every so often, Leaf Corcoran reminds himself that he’s not building another Steam.As the founder of Itch.io, Corcoran has spent the last four years creating an online PC game hub that’s the polar opposite of Valve’s behemoth. Big-budget publishers are absent, and most of the 58,000 games in Itch.io’s catalog—from roguelike brawlers to raft survival simulators—are free. To further support indie development, shoppers can pay whatever they want above a minimum price set by creators, who decide how much commission—if any—Itch.io should get from each sale.More importantly, Corcoran and his crew go out of their way satisfy indie developers’ whims, even accommodating one-off requests. (In one example, Corcoran tweaked some back-end settings so that a game could sell a finite number of copies.) The standout quality of Itch.io isn’t so much its open payment structure or its unique catalog, but the sense of weirdness that facilitated those things in the first place.But as Itch.io tries to grow from a developer darling into something with broad consumer appeal, Corcoran has become aware that preserving those quirks won’t be easy. Hence the periodic reminders not to become the thing he’s pushing back against.“I don’t want to fall in that trap of just… Read full this story
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