Epic, Steam and GOG clients suck

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This builds on what I found out in the previous post.

The Steam store and it’s client suck

The Steam store is massively overrated. It might have been the leading reason why big titles have been ported to PC back in the day and even now, but the DRM that the game titles on the store introduce, the spyware (archive) that comes with the client, and it’s bloat are unacceptable. People put up with Steam because it’s extremely popular, and because they have made quality games as well as providing great Linux support but it’s just not worth it. Entertainment is entertainment, and there are plenty of quality games with Linux support on better platforms.

Heres a website (archive), can’t vouch for relevancy or quality of the information though.

The Epic store and it’s client suck

Epic’s client is extremely bloated and completely redundant since it’s games and client offer no new functionality from the Steam client and it’s games. If you want a bigger cut of the money you make from your game, use itch (itch.io’s cut can be set to 0%). Could barely run this on an old laptop. Probably spyware too.

GOG Galaxy sucks

GOG Galaxy sucks because its bloated (again, barely works on old laptop), closed source, probably spyware and doesn’t have Linux support.

Although the actual GOG store is alright, because the usage of the Galaxy client is completely optional and games can just be downloaded in form of standalone offline installers. The installers are pretty easy to setup through Lutris (guide) if you want to play them on Linux, and they’re almost all (some are multiplayer only) DRM free.

A debatably minor problem with the GOG installers is the bad decompression scheme they seem to use, meaning games need a lot more space to start installing.

Itch.io and it’s client don’t suck

The last major store client is itch.io. This one looks to be completely browser based but manages to use a lot less resources than the other stores, presumably because it only focuses on buying games and showing owned ones instead of a whole friend, social and DRM system.

Itch.io focuses on providing everyone a platform so game submissions aren’t reviewed before being available on the store which makes getting malware much likelier than the other stores listed here. It does have a sandbox but I have no idea how well it works. Itch.io also uses Cloudflare, list of reasons that might be bad are here (archive).

Another thing that’s really annoying is that your previously bought bundles don’t show up in the library tab. You need to instead go to explore and click on the little arrow next to your profile, then “My library”, then “My purchases” and only then see your previously bought Bundles.

I also stumbled upon a bug where the store would be in permanent fullscreen mode with the minimize button not working and pressing X being the only way to close it.

All of that aside itch also has some great exclusive features. Play time is tracked even if the client is completely closed. The platform is extremely creator friendly, since you can completely customize your game page to be however you want and choose to get 100% of the money your game makes. All games are also DRM free, and the client supports Linux and is open source. All in all, I think that itch is a great game store and has the best game store client with the positives outweighing the negatives.

Playnite doesn’t suck either

Playnite isn’t tied to any game store and does a similar thing to GOG Galaxy where it unifies all of your game libraries into one, but without using tons of resources. It needs all of the clients installed to play games though (except for GOG and itch, you can download the games in their respective website and install them manually instead), but using Playnite circumvents you having to open up the bloated game client to launch/install the game.

It can also show achievements (emulated games through retroachievments.org too), advanced play time statistics, steam reviews, how long a game take to beat, has great emulated game support, themes, tags and probably something else I forgot. The learning curve is a bit steep but it’s definitely worth it. It’s a shame it doesn’t have a Linux version though, and I wish the UI was less cluttered.

Why care about privacy if you have nothing to hide?

Something being spyware is a criticism most refute by just saying they don’t have anything to hide, and don’t care if their data is sold to advertisement companies. The problem with that statement is that literally anyone can buy your data for any purpose, and everything about you is collected at all times. This article (archive) goes more in-depth.

What is then the best way to play and manage games?

There are three ways from what I can see. The first one is having Playnite to manage GOG and itch games, the second one is downloading all games from the browser on itch and GOG stores and managing them manually, and the third way is just using the itch client and downloading GOG games in the browser.

go home?