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Bearded Giant Games open their own store with a 'Linux First Initiative'

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Bearded Giant Games, developer of Ebony Spire Heresy have announced their new online store along with a 'Linux First Initiative'.

I know what you're thinking already "not another store", but fear not. For now, it's mainly going to be a place for them to sell their games directly. Speaking about it in a blog post, they mentioned how they hate having to check over multiple forums, channels, emails and so on to stay up to date and they wish "to spend more time giving love to my projects instead of updating 4 different distribution channels, translating pages, writing different press releases and making separate builds"—can't argue against that.

With their 'Linux First Initiative' they will be targeting Linux first, as it's their main platform. They will still provide Windows builds of their games but their biggest focus is going to be on Linux.

And another advantage of going for Linux as my main target? I don’t have to compete as much as I do on Windows and I can lower my expectations and sales goals. This allows me to stay as small and nimble as possible. I can also start growing a small audience from this point onward that will look for me and my games here. 

Direct purchasing only has worked very well for some developers, as long as you have a good enough game available there people will come. After all, Valve might currently be the number one store with Steam but gaming doesn't revolve solely around them.

See their store here and their post about their focus on Linux here. A very interesting way to go indeed, we wish them the best.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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32 comments
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MacabreHeart 14 December 2018 at 11:39 am UTC
Direct selling worked for very few games which is why we have the distrubution platforms we have. It may or may not be a good thing that its turned out that way but its the fact that people dont like having extra launchers and stores for things and they only put up with a few because they have to. Uplay is reviled still, Origin only not so because you cant buy ea games anywhere else. GOG looks like a cool store from a consumer point of view but lacks the big titles and are apparently not so great to devs behind the scenes. Epics new store is deficient in a lot of ways but represents a possible better inlet for devs than steam. Itch is fantastic if you keep in mind that 80% of the games are made with very low budgets and thus adjust your expectation accordingly. So i feel that this isnt a good move


Last edited by MacabreHeart at 14 December 2018 at 11:39 am UTC
liamdawe 14 December 2018 at 11:40 am UTC
MacabreHeartDirect selling worked for very few games which is why we have the distrubution platforms we have.
I will argue that point. We have what we have today all because of Steam, as they basically forced it requiring it for certain games and features and eventually expanded and it eventually became a standard. Not because direct selling didn't work.
Zapa 14 December 2018 at 11:43 am UTC
MacabreHeartDirect selling worked for very few games which is why we have the distrubution platforms we have. It may or may not be a good thing that its turned out that way but its the fact that people dont like having extra launchers and stores for things and they only put up with a few because they have to. Uplay is reviled still, Origin only not so because you cant buy ea games anywhere else. GOG looks like a cool store from a consumer point of view but lacks the big titles and are apparently not so great to devs behind the scenes. Epics new store is deficient in a lot of ways but represents a possible better inlet for devs than steam. Itch is fantastic if you keep in mind that 80% of the games are made with very low budgets and thus adjust your expectation accordingly. So i feel that this isnt a good move

Economically it really won't be a good move for me yet however I'm not doing too bad on the financial part (ESH performed really well and my contracting work pays more than enough). I just want to focus more on making my games rather than trying to please Steam's algorithm or having to spend too much money on marketing and driving traffic. The whole point is to grow slow and not depend on my games performing well. I could do the same on Steam and Itch however in the long run, by doing it on my own store front, I can actually grow my own stuff and not be dependent on someone else's platform.

Ogh and keep 98% of the revenue, learn more things about marketing and be directly in contact with my customers and fan base.

Thanks for the shout out Liam!


Last edited by Zapa at 14 December 2018 at 11:47 am UTC
qptain Nemo 14 December 2018 at 12:07 pm UTC
I salute, cheer, and tip my hat.
chris.echoz 14 December 2018 at 12:09 pm UTC
I had never heard of Bearded Giant Games until now, but I love the idea of the Linux First Initiative, and the games look very interesting. I just bought both Ebony Spire Heresy and Roguesweeper and I'm looking forward to playing them. Hopefully I can even squeeze in a little Roguesweeper on my phone while I'm still at work
mirv 14 December 2018 at 12:46 pm UTC
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Zapa...
I just want to focus more on making my games rather than trying to please Steam's algorithm or having to spend too much money on marketing and driving traffic.
...

I feel like this should be printed on a t-shirt and made the official game developer's uniform.
beko 14 December 2018 at 12:56 pm UTC
Quote[...]they mentioned how they hate having to check over multiple forums, channels[...]

So Zapa(?) makes the customer crawl over multiple forums, channels [...] instead, while maintaining an own store in freakin WooCommerce? Just what I need. More fragmentation and exclusives especially on systems known for breaking all the time. Way to go.

Anyway, checked the titles. No thanks. That's basically a PR gag to boost some sales from a side project. It has the same impact like me saying I'm a Linux First dev (simply because I develop on Linux - harhar). None.

I'm just happy that this is (from what I understood) not the primary source of income. Economically it's suicide. Granted, for a noble cause - but suicide.
eldaking 14 December 2018 at 1:24 pm UTC
Now, this is a store that actually holds any interest for us Linux gamers. Unlike Epic's, which is Windows-only, full of exclusives that only run on Windows, but maybe might be considering Linux if we interpret a vague and non-commital reference to "other open platforms" as meaning Linux.

Unfortunately, the smaller scale of this kind of store has some disadvantages... for example, lack local pricing/local payment methods, which are a big thing to some of us. And it might be a minor inconvenience to not use the same platform, though I don't think it is a big deal. But still better than moving into bigger but inferior and annoying platforms like Origin or UPlay.
mirv 14 December 2018 at 1:26 pm UTC
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bekoSo Zapa(?) makes the customer crawl over multiple forums, channels [...] instead, while maintaining an own store in freakin WooCommerce? Just what I need. More fragmentation and exclusives especially on systems known for breaking all the time. Way to go.

To be fair, regardless of how it's done, every game has multiple forums, channels, etc. From reddit, twitter, Steam forums (known for being toxic), facebook, and so on, it's spread out anyway. While there is a case to be made for trying to consolidate that in one area for customers (e.g forums in one area on Steam, GOG, itch.io, wherever else....), if a developer has to spread themselves across all of them, then they're not going to give very good responses on any particular one.

Not too sure what you mean about systems breaking all the time though? I do suffer breakage through say wine, which is unsupported, or graphics driver updates occasionally (part & parcel of existing on mesa-git). But generally, games that work when I bought still work now. Games that didn't work when I bought them....actually mostly work now (with a single exception being Trine3).
MayeulC 14 December 2018 at 1:30 pm UTC
I would like to see a federated (game, music, films, or otherwise) store. Something a bit like peertube, if you want... I might actually try to implement one one day (together with some novel ideas for payment processing).

In the meantime, why not ask the guys at lutris to add a few features for store integration on their website?
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