At first day of this thread I voted for STEAM+STANDALONE.
I thinked much and read many opinions, and partially changed my mind... My current vote (suggestion) is to make STEAM version and focus on other things.
( I still don't love the idea to being dependent on 3rd party system, but indie teams needs compromise. )
My opinions pro and contra
- Very good marketing boost !!
- Saving much time in developement
- Little plus income by Market transactions (game cards)
- 'Secure' and universal paying options (you don't need to develop/handle/take responsibility of security)
- You saving server capacity (and money) if players downloads from Steam servers not from your own
- Steam social features alredy developed and ready to use
- Worldwide and multiplatform (as I know Steam available and working on PC, MAC, LINUX, and STEAM OS)
- I'm not sure about this, but as I know you're paying percentage of your Steam sells. So IF that unlucky case happens and game sells don't met the expected numbers, you didn't wasted much money on marketing, server maintenance, etc...
- Easy updates, and workshop features
- I read somewhere, steam has more than 30% fee on games sold
- Steam games always first priority target for cracker teams, and as I know it's easier to crack than some custom DRMs.
- Steam places great emphasis on "Security", but sometimes too much. Limiting, suspending and terminating too much accounts. Most of them just naiv victims bought games at bad place (G2A, Ebay, etc..), or accepted bad gift (by Giveaway), or just logged in to steam site from other computers...
- Personally I'm using, but hate the whole Steam system. I don't trust an "unknown" profit-oriented 3rd party company to keep my all bought games in their hands... I distrusful in Steam, just like in Paypal for example. Even if the justice on your side you can't do anything against them.
- Steam has very stupid currency policy... For example handling EUR and USD as equal?! Only buying on steam when at least 50% discount (by coupon or winter sale or anything). If possible I prefer buying boxed media (DVD) where available - in local stores.Cheaper than the normal Steam price. If I pay with paypal, I milked 2 times on "conversion".
- I don't know the Steam server structure, but here at Hungary the availability is not the best. Many times unable to login to client, slow and fluctuating download speeds, and very slow when navigation on site (market, activity, profiles, inventory, etc)
- Hate too much ads
- Ok, It's not much, but 100MB additional RAM consuption by client
- It is really low percentage of your customers but probably some of them don't want to register on Steam (or already banned)
As a startup company Steam is perfect place for you. Later, when you done many things and got enought money, you can start to develop (continue) your own client / server structure.