Indie game storefront Itch.io is waiving sales fees on everything today, May 14th, as part of the company’s first Creator Day. Anyone selling things on the diverse storefront (which includes everything from indie games to music to entire magazines) will be able to keep “100 percent of sales after taxes and payment processor fees.” It’s similar to Bandcamp’s monthly creator program Bandcamp Fridays (although Itch.io hasn’t said on what schedule it’ll run the promotion in the future).
Itch.io is beloved by creators for being relatively easy to use and generally more transparent than other bigger game storefronts like Steam. It also takes a smaller cut than most other online game platforms: Itch.io traditionally only asks for 10 percent of what creators earn on its storefront in comparison to Apple’s App Store and Steam, which typically start with a 30 percent cut (you can read about other platform fees in our handy guide).
Content standards are also a bit looser on Itch.io, which might be the other reason you’ve heard about the storefront recently. Epic Games started offering Itch.io’s desktop client in April as a free download in its storefront (yes a store inside a store, it’s odd). As part of the ongoing Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit, Apple attempted to use the fact that Itch.io features experimental and often sexually explicit content as justification for why Epic shouldn’t be allowed to offer its app store as an alternative to Apple’s. Of course Epic has no responsibility to moderate games sold on an entirely separate platform just because they offer that store as a download.
Online marketplace drama aside, Itch.io is absolutely worth a browse, especially today. The games can be a bit NSFW and even unfinished, and there’s almost certainly stuff you won’t want to play, read, or listen to, but it’s also on the cutting edge. Whether you realize it or not, the next big thing (or your next favorite game) could already be hanging out on Itch.io, made by someone on their free time. And if you buy that game today, they’ll get to keep more of the proceeds.