itch.io is a website and digital marketplace on which users can host, sell and download products. Although originally designed for indie video games, it also includes e-books for tabletop games, and is now the second-largest marketplace on the internet for pdfs of role-playing games, after DriveThruRPG.
Released in March 2013 by Leaf Corcoran, and as of 7 August 2020 it hosts 8,940 physical games, of which 3,845 are tagged as role-playing games.
itch.io also allows users to host game jams, events where participants have limited time to create and submit a game. For example, the One-Page RPG Jam 2020 was hosted on itch.io.
On 3 March 2013, Leaf Corcoran posted a blog entry to the site leafo.net detailing what the website would be about, with a pay-what-you-want model. In an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Corcoran said the original idea was not a store but instead a place to "create a customized game homepage". Its name comes from a spare domain that Corcoran had purchased a couple of years prior.
In February 2019, Corcoran posted to the itch.io forums regarding people starting to upload "physical" (i.e. non-digital) games to the platform, acknowledging that such games should be recognised in itch.io's classification system. One of the first changes was to rename the "physical games" category to the "tabletop games" category. Early in the same year, the success of game jams like the Emotional Mech Jam increased the profile of itch.io as a platform among the indie RPG community.
In support of the George Floyd protests, itch.io organized the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality in June 2020. It initially launched with over 700 games, but increased to over 1500 as additional developers offered to contribute. In 11 days, the bundle raised $8.1M for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Community Bail Fund.
The seller can charge money for the games they release onto the platform, and in May 2015, itch.io paid sellers US$51,489. By default, the site takes a 10% cut from each sale, but the seller can choose how much money the site will get per purchase. The seller can set the lowest price for the game (including free), and the customer can pay above that minimum amount if they like the game they are purchasing.
This means that, in general, a seller will earn more for each item of product sold through itch.io than they will selling the same product through DriveThruRPG for the same price, although because DriveThruRPG's marketplace is larger and busier and includes more options for discovering products, sellers tend to find (for now) that they earn more from DriveThruRPG in general.
- "Q&A: itch.io Interview with Leaf Corcoran". UBM TechWeb (1 December 2014).
- One-Page RPG Jam 2020. itch.io. Retrieved 2020-08-07.
- "The New Curiosity Shop: Itch.io Interview" (23 April 2014).
- Leaf Corcoran (leafo) et al. (2019-02-02). "Physical games classification project". itch.io Discussions. Retrieved 2020-08-07.
- Aven Elia McConnaughey (transistence) (2019-03-15). "TTRPG Game Jams - Ideas/debrief". itch.io Discussions. Retrieved 2020-08-07.
- Jon Fingas (8 June 2020). "Itch.io offers 700 games in a pay-what-you-want racial justice bundle".
- Nick Statt (11 June 2020). "Itch.io's amazing 1,500-game charity bundle surpasses $5 million goal".
- Wesley Yin-Poole (16 June 2020). "Itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality ends with a stunning $8.1m raised".
- Hirun Cryer (2020-06-16). "Itch.io's Racial Justice and Equality Bundle Ends With Over $8.1 Million Raised".
- "Itch.io Is the Littlest Next Big Thing in Gaming". Vice (23 June 2015). Retrieved on 15 August 2015
- "Itch.io launches open revenue sharing". UBM TechWeb (23 March 2015).
- "Game jams aside, itch.io's doing brisk business distributing games". UBM TechWeb (16 September 2014). Retrieved on 18 August 2015
- "Itch.io lets developers dictate revenue share" (24 March 2015). Retrieved on 18 August 2015