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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.

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Nanobang 14 December 2018 at 1:47 pm UTC
I respect the hell out of artists like the cat behind BG games, who put pursuit of their art first and selling it second. What these people create is a work of vision, creativity, and love, and in this way what bearded games is doing is more in line with the Linux community than 99.99% of all the titles on Steam, GoG, Origin, and Epic combined.

Also, Liam, I Gimped a quick BG logo for the article to use instead of the grey/white penguin pic. I've uploaded it to Imgur, it's 720 x 320 px and hopefully can just be dropped into where you need it. Hope you can use it

Last edited by Nanobang at 14 December 2018 at 1:47 pm UTC
liamdawe 14 December 2018 at 2:07 pm UTC
NanobangAlso, Liam, I Gimped a quick BG logo for the article to use instead of the grey/white penguin pic. I've uploaded it to Imgur, it's 720 x 320 px and hopefully can just be dropped into where you need it. Hope you can use it
14 14 December 2018 at 3:38 pm UTC
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It's either going to be the developers maintaining multiple avenues of builds and communication or it's going to be the consumers. As the buyer, I now have to look for new patches and information from many sources. For example, I have a few games that I forget I even already own because I simply don't open the app every day.

Hopefully all these stores broadcast their important stuff on at least one of the mainstream media like Twitter so we can organize ourselves a bit while not being in the dark too long.
monnef 14 December 2018 at 4:23 pm UTC
Just wondering, how such a small store will handle stuff like taxes in places (e.g. some EU countries) where it is up to a seller to pay them?

Nevertheless, I am glad to see "Linux First" in games and even own store. Sure, so far for only games from one studio (one dev?), but that could evolve. I wish them luck .
Gamewizard 14 December 2018 at 4:29 pm UTC
Nice to see you do a report on this, glad you caught it I was about to get in touch about this with you on the Discord server. This will be interesting to see how it goes form them.
Purple Library Guy 14 December 2018 at 5:08 pm UTC
Well, normally I would say this isn't going to work. But then there's this:
QuoteI can lower my expectations and sales goals.
OK. If lowering sales is the objective, then sure, I think this will be a success!
orochi_kyo 14 December 2018 at 5:26 pm UTC
Direct selling only works if the dev is responsible.
Steam is a third party that could control the dev in the case they goes rogue and it happens often.

ZapaI 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.

You have to please someone else algorithm always, you have to program your game according to the OS standards and requirements. you have to do your website according what browsers ask you, etc, that sensation of freedom is just too fake unless you develop your own environment from the ground and that is almost impossible by the time required.

Its funny because youll need to waste money to drive traffic to your website and once you get tired of seeing that attending customers is a 24/7 labor youll be looking for a way to simplify the customer service, being in contact with your player base could take you time from development.

Im a website developer and I did think like this once, that my customers who works on hosting doesnt need Airbnb, Expedia or any other directory and renting service, its cool to think that way but then somehow, somewhere, you'll be hitting a wall called reality.

I understand why people distrust to reserve directly from the website of the owner of the hotel/cabin, refund and reviewing are totally controlled by the owner of the site. In this case I dont think its any different, the owner of this site can control what I can say on his site and if I dont like one of his games Ill see this love relation between customer/developer going to a end.

As a customer I can understand why people prefer to use GOG/Steam/Origin to buy, I never use dev websites to buy anything, just to inform myself about the game.
Vishar 14 December 2018 at 6:00 pm UTC
Long time ago there was small Spiderweb software company that was doing game first MAC and next port to Windows
and now there are little bigger and still first doing game to MAC and next to Windows (and some mobile and few linux experiment)

so Windows as second target is not suicidal move and can work if u have good games

Good Luck Zapa and I wish you success.

Last edited by Vishar at 14 December 2018 at 6:01 pm UTC
johnc 14 December 2018 at 11:25 pm UTC
eldakingNow, 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.

It's sad that EA don't embrace Linux as TitanFall 2 was written using Source, Origin is written in Qt and apparently DICE love Linux. It would be so easy for them to port their games over.
devnull 15 December 2018 at 5:46 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.

Interesting idea except there are many games not on steam which do the same lockin crap. I doubt for example Valve told Epic to enable analytics in Unity. I don't think Steam collects anywhere near the crap other platforms do.

The fun fact about analytics is they are always shown in a positive light because there will always be software that sells, and yes, some of them will enable such things. Doesn't mean the analytics aided those sales in any way, you still need a product worth buying. Point is the marketing mindset to collect data about everything a user does, did NOT come from Steam nor Valve. If anything I'd blame Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.
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