Since October 2013, itch.io has let developers sell their content without taking any of the money. It was originally disabled for the Ludum Dare October Challenge, which challenges people to build a game, take it to market, and sell it.
At the time I decided to keep itch.io’s fee off indefinitely since the cost of hosting the site was manageable, and it was really encouraging to sellers. Fast forward to today and things have grown quite a bit. Recently many have been asking about when itch.io will start making money. They want to see the marketplace they enjoy have a sustainable business model so they can continue to use it for the foreseeable future.
I’m really inspired by the community that has formed around itch.io. It’s a generous group giving money to creators to support their work. I want to encourage this kind of community from every angle, and I decided that how I handle the fee would be the perfect opportunity to do that.
itch.io has always been pay-what-you-want for buyers, it will soon be pay-what-you-want for sellers. I’m calling it open revenue sharing.
I’ve written a separate post on the itch.io site, What is itch.io, talking about what itch.io’s goals are along with introducing the idea. If you also believe that itch.io is doing something good here then I highly encourage you to share and spread the post.
So what is open revenue sharing?
As the seller you decide what percentage itch.io gets from each transaction. From 0 to 100%, set the slider to what you think is fair. A quote from the post I linked above:
You might be saying “well that sounds pretty risky, what if everyone sets it to 0?” We think that’s a risk we’re willing to take in the spirit of encouraging the generous and supportive community that’s already developed around itch.io.
You’ll find these new revenue share options on the seller settings tab in your account settings page. Because I don’t want to just start collecting money with no notice, the revenue sharing will not be active until March 23rd, 2015 but you can configure the percentage that will be applied to your account now.
itch.io’s default rate will be 10%. If you don’t make any changes to your account then it will automatically be set to 10%. 10% is far below the industry standard, 30%, which you’ll see on places like Apple App Store, Google Play or Steam. If you don’t think the default is fair, either too low or too high, I encourage you to change it!
I hope you consider everything itch.io has been doing over the past two years when choosing the revenue split. itch.io is an evolving project that has taken thousands of hours to develop. If you believe this is a project that should succeed then reflect that in the amount you choose. The money earned will be put directly back into the site to continue providing the tools you need to sell and market your content.
Don’t forget to check out the What is itch.io post I mentioned above.
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