A Steam competitor is trying to get its app onto Steam


Fresh off the revelation that a guy got his game onto Steam without Valve knowing comes the news that the makers of a games marketplace are trying to get their app onto Steam (a somewhat well known games marketplace itself) using Steam Greenlight. That's... an interesting business plan? It's at least as interesting as the fact that the app arrived on Greenlight on April 1st, a day known for hilarious pranks, japes, jokes, and outright lies.

Itch.io is an open marketplace for indie games. According to their About page, if you've made a game you can easily upload it, set the price, and sell your game through Itch.io, and "It’s never necessary to get votes, likes, or follows to get your content approved..."

Speaking of which, the creators of Itch.io have a desktop client called Itch, and while it's already available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, they're going a step further by putting Itch on Steam Greenlight, where they hope to get enough votes, likes, or follows to make it onto Steam proper. Which sounds a bit strange, trying to launch an app for a games marketplace on another games marketplace. As one commenter puts it: "storefrontception."

Not quite, though! I contacted one of the Itch.io staff, who first confirmed that it wasn't a joke. They thought it would be fun to add it to Greenlight on April Fool's Day, but they are legitimately trying to make their app available on Steam. The app currently doesn't enable the purchase of games from Itch.io's library, and "it's likely that we won't have buying enabled for a Steam release of the app for obvious complications." You'll be able to launch, manage, and update your games, however.

I'm curious how Valve feels about a competing marketplace trying to launch an app on Steam, so I've reached out to them for comment. (Not really. I haven't. They never answer me.)

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.