After all the work put into making a game, it’s a bit funny that the next big challenge is publishing it. Unless you for some reason don’t expect to get your game out there, and only wants to share it among friends or family, figuring out where you can post your game is quite complicated. As I mentioned in a previous article, teaching how to advertise a game(Which by the way, how and where are completely different things), you’ll want to get your game in as many places as possible, while keeping a centralized space, like a website that would work as a sort of “hub”. In this article, I’ll list a few places you can share your game, some free some not, to help you.
Itchio is possibly the most well known, and to this day one of the best places to start sharing your game. It gives you 1GB per file, lets you categorize each one per platform(or as things such as source code, documentation,etc), can handle paid games/files for you, letting you decide how much to share with the website, if at all, gives you a whole blog/mini forum section to post updates and even allows for HTML5 games(I use it to host Humanity Clicker’s web version). It’s one of the most complete and free platforms for indie developers, even having its own launcher. The only downside being the absence of the website’s creators when it comes to reporting/suggestions and feature updates.
A lesser known platform, for people who don’t develop using Unity Engine, UpToDown is a great option. It allows to upload games for Windows, MacOS and Android(sadly, no Linux), is available in multiple languages(15 as of the writting of this article) and allows for you to post your update logs and game page in multiple languages, lets you see statistics of downloads per language and has a much bigger file size limit(8GB if uploading, and much higher if using a link). The downsides are its servers, being much slower than others in this list, and lack of support for Linux and HTML5.
An old player, newground has been around since 1995. It’s a great platform for hosting HTML5 games, completely free, giving you space to make a small “blog”(your feed, which is public), share art, music animations and more. It still is very popular nowadays, with an extimate 15 million monthly visits. Games can be as big as 1GB, be in any language and even contain explicit content, if marked as such. Unfortunately, the website only available in English and won’t allow you to host non-HTML5 games.
Well its no surprise that the biggest game platform would be in the list. With estimated 300+ million active users, judging by its constant daily peaks of 30 million people online at one time, Steam has almost as many active users as twitter has TOTAL users. With servers around the whole world, multiple tools for developers and users, support for all 3 major desktop operational systems(Windows, Linux and MacOS), etc steam is an absolute no-brainer when it comes to picking a platform to publish on. Steam, however, isn’t for everyone: It charges 100$ to publish your game there, and with how many games are available, it can be a bit difficult to stand out.
This platform is an old and quite known one. Being entirely free, allowing for upload of files of up to 500MB on the website(and 6GB through FTP), having a tool for creating a cool mini-page with extras such as a mini forum, wiki, blog, etc and being hosted on good servers, mirrored globally, makes it no surprise that many host their projects there. Its sole bad aspect is the lack of discoverability, so do not expect a massive increase in players by simply placing your games there.
Finally, while the options above can get your game from 0 players to MILLIONS, the more places you (properly) publish the better. So its good to mention that, for most game engines, there will be developer forums where you can share your project and updates about it(Like Unity’s Forums, UnrealEngine’s forums, RPG Maker Web, etc) and Sub Reddits that are either specific to the game engine or indie game sharing(such as r/Playmygame). So search around, talk to fellow game devs and you’ll find many new places where you can get your game on.