Buying Indie Games – The More Options The Better
In business, it’s often said that money talks. Which in a sense is true as consumers we speak with our wallets all the everyday. We do this every time we either buy a product or don’t buy a product. Which is one of the reasons that companies put a lot of money into advertising their products. It’s also why companies try to get their products onto as many store shelves as possible. The more options that consumers have in which to buy, the more likely they are to purchase the item in question. The same principle applies to buying indie games as well.
Options for buying indie games bring on the gluttony!
Sadly, there is no Wal-Mart or Best Buy when it comes to buying indie games. That’s mainly because you have a lot of different companies, and they’re all doing their own thing. It boils down to three different markets home consoles, smart devices, and PC’s. All three markets offer consumers different buying options, sadly when it comes to indie games there’s no one-stop-shop for all your indie needs.
This is perhaps the most difficult market when it comes to what it offers the consumer. Currently gamers have a choice between Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft to fill their home console needs. That’s of course where the big problem lies. Each console has its own online store, while there will be some indie games that are multi-platform. They’re often the exception and not the rule, when indie games do go multi-platform often it’s in a timed release.
Meaning by the time it makes it way to the other consoles it’s already been out for a while on another console. Just because there’s no universal indie game store for the home console market doesn’t mean that it’s not supportive of indie games. Both Microsoft and Nintendo have initiatives to entice indie devs to release their titles on their consoles. When it comes to buying options for indie games, it all boils down to your personal home console preference.
Smart devices have some of the same problems that plague the home console market. The smart device market is dominated by Apple and Google. Unlike the home console market however, there’s a clear winner in the smart device market. That winner is Apple for one simple reason, control. If you look at Apple smart devices they’re uniform. If you walk into a store looking for a smart device you won’t see 20 different brands all running a different version of Apple’s OS. Why? Simple Apple uses its OS on its own devices.
This uniformity works to Apple’s advantage for instance iPad owners all have access to the same app store. Android users can’t make that claim. Different brand devices will often be running different versions of Android. In fact, some Android devices don’t even have access to the play store. In its place is a third-party option such as the Amazon app store. So, some games that maybe available on the play store might not be available on the Amazon app store and vice versa.
Add in the fact that the app store has a dedicated section for indie games. It becomes easy to see why Apple smart devices are the winner. Simply put Apple devices offer better options for buying indie games.
Unlike the other two markets in this article, the PC truly stands alone. PC’s on average have more power than a smart device, and on occasion even more power than a home console. Not only is power a mark in PC’s favor, but they’re also much more versatile. That versatility applies to both hardware and software aspects of PC’s. When it comes to PC’s it’s only a matter of choosing the option that you want.
Should you want to scratch your indie game itch with your PC you have multiple options at your disposal. Options such as Steam, Game Jolt, and itch.io to name a select few. As a consumer, you can choose one or all of these options, much like a salad bar take what you want and leave the rest. The buying options that consumers have on the PC make it the clear winner. While there’s no universal indie game store the PC comes the closest, simply because of all the different services you can use to buy various indie games.
Despite my views shared in this article there is not nor is there likely to be any one right way to buy and play games. The more options we’re given as consumers the better, luckily for us the options for purchasing indie games continues to grow. Who knows maybe one day all of these options will be available to users on all platforms.
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