Flippfly Games wrote a blog post the other week that got some attention, about how their fantastic little endless speed game Race the Sun fared after launch and how not being on Steam led to disappointing (to put it kindly) sales figures. They didn’t expect their sales figures to set the gaming world on fire, but 771 copies was still underwhelming. So they did what people who don’t know how to give up do in cases like this- came up with an alternative promotion to not only benefit themselves but other indies who have had no luck cracking the Steam storefront. The Not on Steam Sale went live today, featuring 49 different titles with discounts ranging from 33% to well over 50%. Some games are Humble widget, others Desura, and others are developer website only, but none of them are on Steam.
Except, as it turns out, three of them soon will be.
Valve announced a new batch of titles making it through Greenlight today. The universe loves a good irony so of course Race the Sun got the invite on the same day their Not on Steam sale goes live. It just wouldn’t be right otherwise. Vox and MouseCraft also made the cut, but that still leaves 46 games in the sale Steam-less.
Still, it’s a good sale that makes a point about the sheer volume of quality indie gaming available outside of Steam. It’s very easy to give in to the convenience of Steam’s curated service, using the front-end as a handy way to organize and update your library, but that’s not all there is. Tower of Guns, Drifter, and 6180 The Moon are all games I’ve gotten to play that I can say are easily worth the effort of bypassing Steam for. One Finger Death Punch for $1? That’s hard to resist (and 20 minutes later I’ve found it’s $1 well spent). Aces Wild and Ring Runner both look awfully tempting as well, but take a browse and see what else might strike your personal fancy. The Sea Will Claim Everything is supposed to be a fantastic adventure game, Dogsled Saga had a very successful Kickstarter campaign, and Tug’s promotional video does a great job of making it stand out from the crowd. Steam is useful and convenient but there’s a giant selection of games that don’t have any presence there, so have a look and maybe give a game or two a shot. At the very least it’s a great way to get Race the Sun for cheap before its Steam release.