Valve's Steam voted easiest platform for indies

Valve's Steam voted easiest platform for indies

By Rob Crossley

October 4th 2011 at 5:37PM

Survey reveals consoles are deeply unpopular for some studios

The revolutionary PC games portal Steam has been voted as the easiest platform to build content for.

In a survey of more than 100 independent developers, 64 per cent said Steam was “very easy” to work on, both due to the technology itself and the support provided by Valve.

Twenty-eight per cent said the console was “so-so”, eight per cent said it was “difficult” while no one claimed it was “excruciating”.

The results, while not perfect, place Steam far ahead of digital console platforms such as XBLA, Wii Ware and PSN.

As shown in the grid below, Facebook and Apple came second and third, both with more than 50 per cent of studios claiming the platforms were very easy to develop on. No one surveyed branded these two platforms difficult or very difficult.

Google’s Android operating system came in fourth, meaning that the console platform holders trailed behind in fifth, sixth and seventh. Half of the developers surveyed said developing for XBLA was “excruciating”, while only ten per cent said developing on PSN was very easy.

The survey sample, which includes top-tier indie studios that have made some of the most popular XBLA games of all time, said that the ease of working with platforms was a business priority.

The data was collected by Ron Carmel, the co-founder of independent studio 2D Boy.

Carmel said the survey sample is of highly acclaimed developers responsible for numerous successful digital games. The research suggested that the average Metascore for an XBLA game made by the sample group was 78 (above the average of 66). It also found that the average number of single-game sales by the sample group was 137,010 (far above the average of 46,281). This data was reflective and taken from 2010 figures.

The study elsewhere claimed that XBLA is now declining in popularity among indie studios.

Recently, Team Meat co-founder Edmund McMillen claimed his studio “will never work with Microsoft again”.

[INTERVIEW: Valve on Steam]