Survey of non-Steam Stores Used

As I am sure most people are aware, my new SKIF tool was originally developed for the Steam version of Special K. It has a few quirks that make it work incorrectly for users that are not in Special K’s Steam Beta. While I am working those quirks out, I want to build a store-agnostic core covering the most widely used Steam alternatives.

This is where you come in; I have been 100% loyal to modifying Steam software since 2015, now I absolutely despise ■■■■■. Thus, I want to start making SKIF work with multiple store platforms, but it will be a large undertaking.

I would like to start by polling users for platforms they use (on PC):

  • Epic Games Store
  • uPlay
  • EA Origin
  • Microsoft Store
  • GOG/Galaxy

0 voters

I will use these results to prioritize additional storefronts to reverse engineer and add to the game management list :wink:

So think long and hard, I have made this multiple-choice, but do not feel obligated to select all of them just because you have 1 or 2 games on a specific store, I am genuinely interested in the ■■■■■ competitors that are most frequently used.

    — Kaldaien

Uplay a few dozen games, growing a bit as Ubisoft is somewhat doing like EA and I assume will also inevitably rebound like EA with a discount promo and UPay Plus. (Yes this is missing a L somewhere.)

Origin with a number of games but after some of their later game launches I’ve not used it for some time as the newer output aside from some possible indie games that could be interesting haven’t caught my interest.
(Could change though.)

UWP and Windows 10 Store I have a few games on both purchased and also some from the 1 Euro promo they kept going with to drive interest and attract new users, overall the platform is problematic so I am glad they are also distributing on Steam because the locked access and download issues among other stuff makes the other advantages less worthwhile if the basics are non-functional.

Some of the Blizzard games on as well but after the launch of Diablo 3 I’ve had very little interest in their games, could change but I don’t have too high expectations currently.

Suppose I’ll use the Rockstar Client at some point for Red Dead 2 now that it’s not just a launcher for games anymore, these two aren’t part of the poll though just mentioning them.

GOG’s probably the one I’d see focus given to initially even if I’m the older mode of users here for the classic actually old games just download and extract no use for the Galaxy or 2.0 client to client stuff though I hear it’s popular, really popular.

EDIT: Oh so it’s doing the Battle. net is a URL thing here too. Need to be aware of that for future reference then.

1 Like

You have basically covered the main store clients, although this is the first time I’ve ever heard of Beamdog.

Over on PCGamingWiki we have a hidden and not really used platform features comparison page. The page itself has major issues which prevents us from really linking to it from elsewhere on the site, but it provides a good overview at a glance that you might find helpful here.

Those that immediately stood out for me that you lacked in the poll was:

  • (exclusively indie titles)
  • Discord (yes, they still sell games, but only through developers’ own Discord servers, such as Omensight)
  • Kartridge (also only indie titles, I imagine)

Aside from Steam, GOG and Itch io are the only 2 stores that I actually spend money on. So, I just voted only GOG.
I only made accounts on other platforms to play their games but never buy anything directly from them.
One thing that Steam does right is regional pricing. Other stores will charge me US price which I could never afford to pay. sad developing country noise :cry:

The way Discord handles sales of games nowadays are really annoying from a third-party perspective as it makes it practically impossible to get an overview of all available games on their platform. It requires users to basically manually check whether a developer has their own official Discord server, and then whether they make a game purchasable through it or not. And if they do, they have to extract the appropriate SKU from the source code of the webpage…

Just… gah…

We have a page, List of games available on Discord, but it only mentions 44 games in total because of the above limitations. The real number is probably at least around 100-200.

This is unfortunate :stuck_out_tongue: It seems all the alternatives are used equally.

I think Microsoft Store will be the hardest to deal with, so I’m putting that on the backburner – though it’d be awesome, given the number of “free” games you get each month with Xbox Game Pass.

Beamdog is a store created by the people who now own the rights to all the old Infinity Engine games (Baldur’s Gate, Planescape Torment, Icewind Dale, etc…). I guess it never really took off.

This is depresing…

I was already on the platform with the most goodies to fool with, and I was loving it until the apocalypse happened.

It’s ok man. Steam is shit, and it sucks that all game companies flock to that store and don’t look into GOG much. It also sucks that CDPR haven’t completely overhauled GOG to leave Steam in the dust… so much wasted potential just sitting there.

Looks like GOG/Galaxy is the most feature-packed of the (nearly equally popular) alternatives.

I’ll start looking at how the Galaxy client handles installed games and maybe beg and plead with CD Projekt to make the documentation for their API public. Until they do that, I would have to make parts of Special K closed source, and that’s not something I want to do.

Submitted my “game” to GOG nevertheless. I think it would be the first time any non-game software showed up, but we’ll see. I would much prefer it if the documentation were public.

Steam will always be a main for me when it comes to bought games, I have an account with GOG with a couple of games but I don’t plan to use it anymore [however I have nothing against this store] - and usually most times of the year I have Uplay and Origin installed for games that require it via Steam. Running on silent if possible [auto login via steam]

As for Epic… I’d rather install the MY.GAMES launcher over Epic

Personally I have never really seen a reason to use GOG over Steam over the years myself either. GOG seems to have always played catch-up to Steam, and the main triple-A titles that are often the games I care about almost never arrives to the platform, or if they do they do so a couple of years later down the line.

I don’t really have anything against the store either, but, well… I don’t see why I would go out of my way to use it either.

In regards to Epic’s launcher, I’ll admit its sorta the opposite. Their exclusivity deals and whatnot have actually gotten me to use the platform more than I use GOG. Too bad their launcher still sucks in some regards (like, using GOG Galaxy to show all of my Epic games are actually superior than using the Epic launcher itself, lol).

I’ll reiterate that I have no issue with what clients people use or buy from… but also want to state when I see a new tweet from Tim Sweeney I think multiple layers of “why”, “how”, “the fk even”, and then attempt to erase my memory of reading what he posts.

Even if halflifecompany does a big no-no its still never going to annoy me more than the way Epic deals in the free market.

By the way, I recently came into contact with another tiny publisher/developer “custom” launcher that was built on the Xsolla Launcher.

Turns out that Xsolla Launcher is basically a do-it-yourself service that developers/publishers can utilize to create their own separate launcher and CDN infrastructure without actually building it from scratch.

I have accounts and own games on all of them, except the Beamdog client. But my primary platforms are Steam and the EGS.

@Aemony, Interesting that you mention Xsolla, Epic uses its platform for payment processing here in Brazil. Nice work with the new forum btw man, it really turned out alright.

Meh, lost the poll results when moving this thread. The trend was pretty much equal utilization of all alternative stores, so I expect much of the same as new users signup / old users are notified of this thread.

TBH, I feel like a store agnostic core was only a matter of time, considering how no matter if any of us like it or not, our games will be split across platforms, and remaining loyal to one is only becoming less possible, day by day. Now what I have to ask, is what do you think of the Playnite project, Kal? It’s a unified open source launcher for games across every store, and it COULD be possible to add Special K as an optional injection through a launcher like Playnite. Josef also is pretty responsive on his Discord too. That direction just might have potential.

GOG Galaxy is also moving in that direction.

What I am trying to build here (SKIF) really is not a launcher, as much as a config tool. I know Steam’s inner workings like the back of my hand, which is why SKIF has a shiny polished interface for Steam games and an ugly injection white/blacklist for all other games.

A standalone utility is always going to be needed, because one of my goals with the Steam version was to let users publish texture / shader mods and share configuration for misbehaving games using Workshop. No matter how sophisticated Playnite / Galaxy get over time, they won’t be able to satisfy this design.

I’d like to vote for GOG, but I can’t vote. Is this some kind of spam protection for new accounts?

Edit: np. I can vote now

Yeah, sorry about that. After 10 minutes viewing threads on the forums you will be promoted to trust level 1.

I would edit the poll to allow trust level 0 accounts to participate, but the forum doesn’t allow this for any poll older than 5 minutes.