Valve Denies Itch.io Game Store App From Steam Greenlight

gaben 04-12-16-1

An indie game store app by the name of Itch recently tried to get their storefront up and running through Steam, and found themselves denied of the ability to host it through Steam.

Itch.io runs an indie game marketplace called Itch which is accessible through your average desktop client. However, they recently tried to get the marketplace onto Steam to allow even easier game sharing. However, they were denied access and were told that their marketplace app is “incompatible with Greenlight”.

Itch.io has gone a step further and shared the message they received directly from Valve detailing a bit about the decision.

“Hello, Thank you for your interest in Steam. We’d like to be able to continue supporting a variety of types of non-game software on Steam, but the reality is that were finding that we’re finding that we just don’t have the tools and processes to handle many types of non-gaming software very well right now. We made some recent changes to non-gaming software in Greenlight to focusing on a categories [sic] of software for game developers and content creators. These are the valid categories of software we are accepting for now: • Animation & Modeling • Audio Production • Design & Illustration • Photo Editing • Video Production We’d like to accept more kinds of software on Steam, but right now we need to focus on a smaller scope until we have better tools and processes in place.”

While these categories don’t cover everything already available on Steam through Greenlight, it’s hardly surprising that Steam would deny access to a potential competitor. We may yet hear more from Valve on the matter, but for now this case seems to be closed.

If you’re interested in checking out Itch, you can visit their page here.

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Chris Gregoria


I'm a pretty chill guy. Huge video game fan, but a bigger anime fan. I also love to write - obviously.

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  1. deadeye
    April 12, 2016 at 4:32 pm


    So…they tried to get a storefront…in a store? Yeah, I think I can see why Valve said no.

  2. Evropi
    April 12, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Amazon does this for small sellers that lie outside of its supply chain (which is very vertically integrated). Part of the reason is so Amazon can retain its high standards for quality (in the Michael Porter sense) in packaging, delivery and so on. Any failures on the third party sellers’ part is not associated with Amazon. Plus, Amazon takes a cut from any sales made through its platform, while knowingly competing against them on its own turf. However, the nature of digital sales makes this proposition quite absurd.

    Steam taking a smaller cut when the same games are sold through Steam’s itch.io? That’s such a ridiculous business proposition, no one in the right mind would accept a deal like that.

  3. Nin
    April 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    How would a videogame store inside of a videogame store even work? That’s like if Target opened up a store in Walmart.

  4. Izu-3
    April 12, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    I can see why they’d deny it on those grounds, but realistically speaking Steam’s store does need better tools and categorization for ‘early access’ or smaller in-development indie games to get coverage outside of the main library which is getting a bit saturated at this point.

    Itchio is pretty good in that regard, so it’s a bit of a shame it won’t get more coverage due to being available through Steam. Though at the same time, most of the people who’d look for something through it probably know what it is in the first place.

  5. Psyramics
    April 12, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Valve denies Steam competitor from being on Steam. Why did they think this would work?

  6. Immahnoob
    April 12, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    OH NO.



  7. ChazDragoon
    April 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    The same way you watch TV Shows on XBONE…which requires a TV that has TV shows on it already. You know, crackhead logic! :3

  8. sanic
    April 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Going over to EB, gonna try to sell some old games to visitors.

  9. Thanatos2k
    April 12, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Did they really think a store on a store would fly….?

  10. Dighunter
    April 12, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Good, itch.io is full of really awful, toxic developers. Keep them confined in their unpopular platform.

  11. orbo
    April 12, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I’ll at least give them credit for trying.
    Dumber things than this have made it past steam greenlight…

  12. Yabloko Molloco San
    Yabloko Molloco San
    April 12, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    yo dawg….

  13. SoapyEyes
    April 12, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I do think Steam needs more competition, regardless of the merits of Itchio

    I’ve never personally used Steam, I tend to mainly play on my PS3 and the games I play are all discs instead of digital sales really, but it seems like there’s little competition. There is Good Old Gamers, GoG, which I like, but other than that?

  14. NuclearKangaroo
    April 12, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    “I do think Steam needs more competition”

    steam doesnt have competition, big names too, Ubisoft, Microsoft, EA, all have their own digital distribution platforms, and all are awfully incompetent at digital distribution

    so far the only storefronts i feel offer a service almost as good as steam is the Humble Store and GoG

  15. NuclearKangaroo
    April 12, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    *inception music*

  16. 1mirg
    April 12, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Well, to be fair. Valve didn’t really deny them, they more along the lines asked them to try again at a later date when they are capable of moderating such a thing.

  17. scemar
    April 12, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Well, they deserve credit for daring to do what no one else would even bother with.

  18. Casey
    April 12, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    So, people may not realize this, especially looking into the comments, but steam has already proposed and suggested other people have their own store front in steam.

    This was mentioned in 2013, but hasn’t borne fruit yet. My guess is that it’s a tad more complicated than they were anticipating.

  19. Minuteworld92
    April 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    >still using a drm service
    >still using steam after the paid mods bullshit
    >but muh gaben
    >but muh sales
    >not using gog
    >not pirating games from companies you don’t wanna support
    >not buying games from companies you want to support from steam and then cracking them
    >not using steam only for multiplayer only games

    volvo used to be good but now they’re shit and corrupted. shame that triple a devs you wanna support ONLY put their games on steam.

  20. scemar
    April 12, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Yeah I remember, but Gabe’s idea seemed like he was giving people a glimpse into the stuff they’re brainstorming.
    They might unveil the results of that at some point and it would be huge, like when they first unveiled the community site for steam games, or the workshop, or greenlight.

  21. Sebastian Mikulec
    Sebastian Mikulec
    April 12, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    This was a publicity stunt by Itch, nothing more, nothing less. They knew this would never make it through, but it would generate publicity for them, and it worked.

  22. Minuteworld92
    April 12, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    there needs to be more publicity for gog.

  23. Nonscpo
    April 12, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Agreed, only question is how many outlets covered them?

  24. Zombie_Barioth
    April 12, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Those are actual physical-world retailers though, and Amazon has a clear policy in regards to where their responsibilities begin and end. Much of their ‘product’ is customer service, and if things go wrong they try to assist you.

    In Steam’s case they’d basically be ‘selling’ the storefront in the form of an app, so how much of their business if any are they responsible for? If Itch screws up or has an “accident” do I get to complain to Valve?

  25. kunuri
    April 13, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Seriously? Don’t they have software for budgeting and accounting on steam? I mean I understand why they would not WANT it on steam, but this app is more of a game than half of what goes through greenlight.

  26. Feniks
    April 13, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Making competition for Steam is like making competition for Windows: mission impossible.

    Gamers are on Steam now and they will never leave. Everyone has invested a LOT of money into their Steam accounts, too much to just move to another store.

  27. Thomas
    April 13, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I don’t understand why some people are getting angry. I beleive it’s under valve’s rights to not actively support competitors.

  28. subnet
    April 13, 2016 at 11:50 am

    also most recently all japanese pc ports were only released on steam.

  29. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    April 13, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Makes sense. Why would Valve host a platform on their platform that directly competes with their platform. Admittedly its super small potatoes to themm and it would be “nice” if they’d help a little platform get a leg up, but business is business. And I’d wonder if it would open up Valve to some sort of liability issues as well.

  30. NuclearKangaroo
    April 13, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    its not really the same, buying from a different store is far easier than switching OS

  31. Feniks
    April 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Nope, PC gamers want their precious achievements, friend lists and trading cards. Steam is an ecosystem now just like iOS.

  32. NuclearKangaroo
    April 13, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    not really true, some of the most popular PC games, such as world of tanks, league of legends, hearthstone, world of warcraft, etc are not on steam

  33. Wintyr Walton
    Wintyr Walton
    April 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    ummm how does this even qualify for greenlight the store from on this page looks like its full of garbage games and other crap there trying to hawk to steam users. Valve turning this down is a good thing. i store owner has a right to sell what ever they want in there store. dont see anyone complaining about walmart not carring every product they may reject.

  34. Derp Minos
    Derp Minos
    April 14, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Why would you use GOG when they refuse to let Japanese games on their site?

  35. Minuteworld92
    April 14, 2016 at 10:28 am

    why do you enjoy telling lies? trails of the sky is on gog.

  36. Derp Minos
    Derp Minos
    April 14, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Pro-tip: beside Falcom games there are no other Japanese game. Also TITS 3rd will be Steam only since GOG get triggered by loli stuff.
    Also a publisher has stated GOG refused some games they publish to be put on GOG, though I can’t say their name as they don’t want to be pulled into the anti-anime drama involving GOG.