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4 Steam Alternatives to Get Away from the “Mainstream”

Steamy It was for a long time and by far the biggest giant in digital video game distribution. Despite the fact that Valve was heavily criticized when it launched its platform alongside the release Half life 2Over time, he was eventually proven right, and not only that, but there are many who point out that Steam was ultimately the salvation of PC games that seemed to be eaten away by piracy and strong competition from the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. two consoles that represented a significant leap at the technical level compared to the previous generation.

For a long time, the PC game industry was driven mainly through digital platforms, and the fact is that distribution in physical format remained something niche, more oriented towards collectors and people who still prefer to have material in physical support. But the ability to receive patches, PC games that are still unfinished, DLC, and convenience ended up tipping the balance in favor of digital distribution.

Valve, thanks to the push Half life 2he had a head start on all or nearly all of the opponents he had in his early days, among which we can highlight Desura, which no one remembers anymore. A curious fact can be gleaned from the competition between Steam and Desura, which is that the latter was faster than the former when it came to offering cross-platform support through Windows, macOS (then OS X) and Linux. However, in terms of sales and user numbers, it was clear that Valve’s platform ultimately crushed its rival.

In short, Valve remained fairly clear ground, even if it did not force the company to choose an anti-consumer policy, on the contrary. Founded by Gabe Newell, the company tends to be pretty user-friendly, and has turned Steam into much more than just a digital video game distribution platform, with forums and other features that feel more like a network from certain angles.

Another story that comes from Steam’s expansion to PC removes many of the barriers that were present in physical distribution. This opened the way for the creation of this sector Indiawhich has been escalating over the years to establish itself not only as an alternative to the mainstream scene, but in the long term presents proposals that compete with big-budget productions.

More than just appealing to the nostalgia of the most veteran, the scene India He contributed to the return of old-school essences and mechanics to our time, to finally make video games what they really are: playable challenges. During the second decade of the 21st century, the saga Dark souls It was more of a backlash in a mainstream scene dominated by cinematic experiences and increasingly simple playable mechanics in the face of the abuse of elements like QTE.

Or appearance Doom 2016 (only Fate officially), which has begun to change, if only slightly, the landscape of big-budget video games towards an experience more true to the essence of the past. Here we cannot omit a large number remodels that have appeared and are yet to come, that help bring the playable experiences of the past into our time, but update the relevant aspects, including the control system, to adapt the games to new generations and avoid backbreaksand it’s that today there are many experienced players (including this server) who can’t adapt to, for example, tank-type controls and more classic fixed cameras Resident Evilto give an example.

When it comes to the digital video game distribution market, the situation has changed a lot in recent years. We have gone from a very strong dominance of Steam to a scenario in which there are various options, but in which Valve’s competition with the Epic Games Store takes the cake, so we will take the opportunity to mention some that are not as media or well-known as the Epic Games Store and Steam, although I will start with one that is well known.

Good Old Games (GOG)

We will start with a platform or store that is well known among the public, by far the most popular among those listed in this article, but it deserves a mention for some very specific reasons.

Good Old Games is a platform owned by CD PROJEKT REDthe company responsible for video games Witcher and cyberpunk 2077. From there we can read one of the main reasons to use GOG, which is the fact that it is a platform based in Poland, so it is not subject to US law, at least initially. In other words, it is the main European representative and not the United States in a market where the United States has a clear dominant position, as in many other things in the technology world.

Another reason to use GOG is this content has no DRMTherefore, its software distribution policy is very favorable to users who can download and install its content without restrictions. The only negative point is that its cross-platform support is not as consistent as that of Steam, as its official client, GOG Galaxy, is not available for Linux, so users of that system have to resort to Heroic Games Launcher as an alternative.

Good Old Games (GOG)

itch.io

This is where we start to pay more attention undergroundand Itch.io takes a very specific approach and strongly focused on the indie video game scenewhich, despite the fact that it has come to the fore a lot during the last ten years, it is no less true that it is full of titles that often go unnoticed, mainly thanks to the large number of titles that appear on major platforms.

Itch.io was born in 2013 with a pay-what-you-want model, but many titles have a minimum price that buyers must pay. Despite this, it is possible to find free titles that only work through a web browser. It offers support for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and there is an official app for the first three operating systems, but this does not mean that all games are available for all systems.

itch.io

Jolt game

Another platform very oriented towards the indie scene with many free games, cross-platform support and a pay-what-you-want model, although many titles have a minimum price. Compared to the other options mentioned in this article, Game Jolt stands out Focus on developers and communitiesso it offers a more attractive framework for those interested in more collaborative work.

The focus on communities means that you can find yourself on Game Jolt not only in video games, but also in other types of related content. The official app supports Windows, Linux, Android and iOS and another interesting feature of Game Jolt is Game APIAn API that allows you to customize games by adding sessions, leaderboards, and trophies.

Although it is possible to find content for Windows, Linux, macOS and for web browsers built on HTML5, Flash and Unity, where Game Jolt has achieved the most success is in the mobile sector.

Jolt game

Cartridge

And another strongly panorama-oriented option India, but this time we find more limited support, covering only Windows and macOS. Kartridge is a relatively young platform compared to most that has managed to become at least relatively popular since its launch in 2018.

Kartridge makes a fair number of games available for free, but there are also paid ones with prices generally below $30, and yes, it is possible to find titles that sell for less than $10 if one asks. Users can also earn free games and coupons, experience and badge while playing. Other features are private group chats and community updates.

In case Kartridge’s profile is too underground for users, the alternative is the parent platform Kongregate, which has more than 100,000 games in its catalog.

Cartridge

Conclusion

As we can see, apart from the two giants that currently monopolize the majority of users (Steam and the Epic Games Store), there are several interesting options and, given the open nature of the PC, there is nothing that prevents one from being a user from multiple platforms at the same time.

Alternative platforms try to make the panorama more visible on many occasions India which do not always get the attention they deserve, especially if we see that they have to compete with some triple-A titles that tend to be at the center of the most popular platforms and that are behind companies that can invest a lot in advertising.

Despite the excessive prominence of triple A titles, it would not be fair to charge against them indiscriminately, especially when we see that many of them belong to very veteran sagas that have earned their popularity and prestige and good know-how over the years.

Source: Muy Computer

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