Valve Blocks Competitor From Putting App On Steam

Valve Blocks Competitor From Putting App On Steam

The great litmus test of Valve's tolerance for potential competitors in their midst is over. The verdict? Sorry, but nope. Despite Valve's general openness to a lot of stuff major video game companies like Sony and Microsoft would categorically fire out of a catapult and into the ocean (players making entire games with their IP/characters, services like Ubisoft's Uplay cohabiting with Steam and so on), they are not on board with the idea of mum 'n' pop indie game shop Itch.io having an app on the Steam store. Their Greenlight listing has been removed from Steam.

Itch.io founder Leaf Corcoran posted Valve's explanation to Twitter:

So I guess Valve is cracking down on the types of non-gaming software they're allowing onto Steam more so than they used to. Or maybe this is just a really long, egregiously formal way of saying, "What you guys do is too similar to what we do, even if you're itsy bitsy and we're hugey-wugey. Sorry 'bout that." Regardless, their store, their rules. So it goes.

Interestingly, it does seem like Itch.io did pretty well on Greenlight:

Oh well. It's not like Itch.io will cease to exist (hopefully), and it will likely continue to be a friendly neighbourhood breeding pit for interesting indies -- some of which will ultimately end up on Steam. And while you might not be able to download Itch.io's app from Steam's non-gaming software selection, there's still a full range of thrilling products like You Need A Budget 4, ASMR Universe and Quicken WillMaker Plus. You know, for when you're an American planning your death!

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Comments

    What's with the 'Valve are being mean to the little guys' attitude in this article, Nathan? itch.io is a storefront that they wanted to make available through another storefront. Of course it was going to get rejected, just like you can't run your own storefront inside Apple's store, or the Android store, or pretty much any other store out there. This was the only possible outcome and pretty much everyone involved knew it would end up this way.

    It's common sense you don't put your own store inside someone else's store.

      One could argue that games with microtransactions in the iTunes are stores within stores.

      Storception.

      Common sense it may be, but tell that to some of the big department stores like Myer or David Jones, that happily host a number of sub-tenants.

        With that logic, that would mean that Valve would be allowed a cut on every game sold through itch.io. In terms of staying competitive that would be suicide for them as eventually when Valve gets to the anybody can publish a game on Steam without Greenlight they could sell the game without the extra revenue the itch.io would have to put on, effectively killing their competitiveness at that exact moment.

        I feel as though the itch.io would have known that this would be the end result and deliberately gave this information to the press to get sympathy and get the people who think "How dare a large company surpress the small one!". While it may give that look, it's simply not the case. Valve aren't stopping them from launching to app at all, it just doesn't make business sense for either of them as Valve would have to make a whole new business model to take a cut from itch.io which I suspect, wouldn't be worth the cost to produce such a model.

        Also Valves tolerance for competitors isn't as bad as this story would lead to to believe, otherwise the existence of GreenManGaming, HumbleBundle and the like wouldn't exist. They are literally allowing them to sell Steam keys that they themselves get no return on. This is because any developer can get keys for their own game and distribute them in any manner they want.

        That analogy doesn't work. Myer hosts clothing brands, not other department stores. A better analogy would be a Target inside of a Myer, or as nizmo_man said below, an IGA inside a Coles, which of course goes against the common sense that Zombie Jesus is talking about.

          The analogy works perfectly. Itch.io largely hosts niche indie games, a large percentage of which Steam doesn't sell and likely will never sell. This is absolutely no different from a large retailer like Myer hosting a niche clothing retailer like Country Road.

      The entire article beyond the facts reads ridiculously, especially the interpretation of the letter. People on this site give Bashcraft articles a lot shit when it's nothing but photos of supposed unrelated Japanese fun stuff with two lines of text but I honestly would rather more Bashcraft than toxic journalism from Grayson. It's frustrating because Kotaku gave the guy titles I'm interested in to cover.

      Last edited 13/04/16 11:28 pm

    Sensational journalism article here. Where's the "you won't believe what happened next" bit in the title? Do you see an IGA inside a Coles or Woolworth's supermarket?

    Last edited 13/04/16 4:47 pm

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