Itch.io is a great site for indie games for two reasons: you can find games to play (and buy) and it’s a handy tool for developers. The creator of the site is a fan of post-mortems, much like me, and he wrote a blog post outlining the inner finances and working of Itch.io.
Of all registered users only 13% have uploaded a public game. This suggests that the majority of users that have registered are more interested in playing games than distributing them. A nice indicator of where future development time should be spent as itch.io currently is primarily for sellers.
Interestingly, in the blog post he mentions how he first envisioned the site, which is rather different compared to what it is now.
84% of purchases are from external sites. Originally itch.io had no way to browse games, the philosophy was that the site would provide the tools but not the distribution. I’ve since changed my mind and added plenty of ways to discover games on the site. I’m not sure what my target percentage for internal purchases should be but I’m actively trying to increase it with features like the recently released game recommendation system. To me, it’s an indicator of how well I’m doing in distributing games. I get very excited when I release a new way for people to discover games and it results in additional purchases that might have otherwise never happened.
I’m looking forward to more of these sorts of posts in the future.