The Queer Games Bundle (opens in new tab) on itch.io recently hit $100,000 in sales, but there are still three more days left to go before it can no longer be purchased.
The bundle started during Pride Month, with the explicit purpose of raising money for queer creators. As such, all the money the bundle raises will be split equally between the 195 creators who contributed their games, zines, and tools to the bundle.
Anyone can publish a game on itch.io—there’s no approval process or application fee, unlike other storefronts. As a result, while there are publisher-backed indies on the platform, such as Finji (who published Night in the Woods, and more recently Chicory), the site hosts a thriving community of 'micro indie' developers and experimental artists.
To give you an idea of the the span of genres and experiences covered, some of the games included in the bundle are:
- tiny rainbow rebels (opens in new tab): "An experimental twine gayme about a tiny frog in a leather jacket vest living in a commune with other tiny animal friends after having defeated the rich with motorcycle tricks." (Regarding the title, "the decapitalization of the text is very intentional.")
- Ghost Stories (opens in new tab): "This year it's your turn to listen to their tales."
- Converger (opens in new tab): "An anti-fascist urban brawler roguelike"
Small independent games are often a financial loss for their creators, with many games on itch.io being priced as free or "pay what you think it's worth". Projects like the Queer Games Bundle, or the Indiepocalypse anthologies, can bring more money to indie creators than individually distributing their games.
The Queer Games Bundle is still running until the 4th of July, so you can pick it up at its full price for $60—intentionally the price of one blockbuster release—or there’s a "sliding scale" version for $10-$20.