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Indie devs need Steam to survive, says Escape Goat creator

After being on Steam Greenlight for almost a year Magical Time Bean's puzzle platformer Escape Goat is now available on Valve's distribution platform, something that game designer Ian Stocker says is a relief as indie devs, he tells Polygon, need the platform to survive.

"To survive as a PC indie dev, you really have to have your games on Steam," Stocker said. "There are exceptions to this, like Minecraft, but statistically speaking, you're going to need to be on Steam to make a living. Before PAX, and the whole Greenlight thing came through for me, I had just about given up on being a PC-centered developer, and planned to put all my efforts towards consoles."

Escape Goat hit Steam Greenlight three days after the vetting system's launch in September of last year. The platform puzzler was approved for distribution on Valve's platform along with 99 other titles in late August.

"To have the process over with is a huge relief," Stocker told Polygon. "The biggest relief came when Valve directly offered me a deal for the sequel as well — Escape Goat 2 was chartered from the beginning to be something more Steam-friendly (improved graphics mainly)."

Escape Goat 2 was originally slated to release on Sept. 10 on PC, however it was delayed because the map system, differing from the original title's format, "hadn't quite been fully nailed down." Stocker said he wants to bring the game to consoles because it's "definitely a living room type of game."

"Speaking of the living room," he said. "Valve is suddenly making a big appearance there, and I'm hoping their next moves create a healthy hunger for controller-based games like mine. It's definitely a good time to be indie."

"It was encouraging to see Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo suddenly become so indie-friendly, with self publishing on their new consoles and stuff like that," he continued. "That's really where I was looking — finish the PC version of Escape Goat 2, get it on a few PC marketplaces and make a small bit of cash, then focus on porting to the next-gen consoles. Now it's a new landscape — it's like I have options."

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