In the world of game development, releasing your game is a moment filled with both excitement and apprehension. It’s the culmination of countless hours of hard work, creativity, and problem-solving. It’s the moment when your creation is finally ready to be shared with the world. One of the most popular platforms for game distribution is Steam, a digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation.
However, before you hit that ‘publish’ button on Steam, there are several important factors to consider. The process of releasing a game on Steam involves more than just uploading your game files. It requires careful planning, preparation, and an understanding of the platform’s rules and guidelines. To help you navigate this process, here are the top 5 things game developers should remember before putting their game on Steam.
- Understand the Steam Direct Fee:
- Steam requires a $100 fee for each product you wish to distribute. This fee is recoupable once your product has at least $1,000 in adjusted gross revenue for Steam Store and in-app purchases. Make sure you budget for this fee when planning your game’s release.
- Prepare Your Store Page Well in Advance:
- You need to prepare your store page and put up a publicly-visible ‘coming soon’ page for at least two weeks before release. This helps you start building an audience of interested customers who can wishlist your game or participate in discussions. It’s also a great opportunity to refine your game’s presentation.
- Familiarize Yourself with the Review Process:
- Before your store page or game build can go live, there is a brief review process where Steam checks that everything is configured correctly and running as expected. This process takes between 1-5 days, so factor this into your release schedule.
- Adhere to Steam’s Content Guidelines:
- Steam has specific guidelines about the content that can be distributed via its platform. This includes prohibitions on hate speech, sexually explicit images of real people, libelous or defamatory statements, and content that exploits children in any way. Make sure your game complies with these guidelines to avoid any issues with your release.
- Engage with the Community:
- Steam is not just a distribution platform; it’s also a community. Engage with your players through the Steam Community features, respond to reviews, and take player feedback into account. This can help improve your game and build a loyal player base.