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We are in Pre-alpha stage of a game development project and haven´t yet got reply from Valve about how it works to distribute through Steam. We need this information to do a business model with all the different costs of developing and distributing this game.

So my question is, what is the pricing structure? Do they take a per cent of our sale? If so, how much?

Thanks Felix

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

I have not worked with Valve or released a game on Steam, but I attended a talk given by some guys that just released their first indie game on Steam.

I doubt you'll hear much from them if you're in pre-alpha. He said that when they first contacted Valve, they were told not to send screenshots or demos or anything due to legal reasons. They didn't get much attention from Valve until they ignored that and started emailing screenshots and demos anyway (they were near the end of beta). Valve liked what they saw and hooked them up.

From what they said, Valve is very friendly towards indie developers. They said selling on Steam has been a great experience and they made back all their development costs within a month of their game being on sale.

However, he said that they get tons of spam to that email address from people who just have game ideas and not an actual game, so if you are in pre-alpha my guess is you'll get the cold shoulder. They have to filter people out somehow. But go back when you've got a solid beta or a demo and they'll probably welcome you with open arms.

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I got a reply saying, Come back when you got some demos. Something like that... :) – Tourrent Jul 19 '10 at 8:27

I've heard it's around 30%, but like all sites of this type, the actual pricing structures are under an NDA.

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When you submit a game demo to valve, make sure it works and looks really nice. Don't send an alpha or anything.

If you're not already known to them, they'll just look at it quickly, and if they don't like what they see, they'll shoot it down. Don't expect any feedback..

So make sure your in game/demo presentation is really good.

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A lot of useful information regarding publishing games for Steam

Unfortunately, pricing is one of the things they don't discuss publicly.

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