The Fullbright Company's Steve Gaynor said that Steam is "an incredibly positive thing, probably the most important thing that's happened to indie games in the last 10 years," and that Gone Home was priced with Steam sales in mind.
"You have to be thinking about Steam sales before you set your price because if you get on Steam and you do start selling the game, it's just a known issue that like 75 percent of your sales or more are going to come from Steam, and especially the Steam sale stuff," Gaynor told GameIndustry International.
One criticism of Gone Home was that it wasn't long enough. At the moment, one of its most popular user-defined tags on Steam is "Short," right between "Indie" and "Walking Simulator." As Gaynor said, it takes two to three hours to complete depending on how thoroughly you want to explore the environment.
Gaynor said that The Fullbright Company obviously believes that it's an experience that was worth the $20 price tag Gone Home had at launch, but that people who were on the fence could pay much less only a couple of months later thanks to Steam sales.
"That's a reality in the online download market now. Not that many people, relatively speaking, are going to pay full price," Gaynor said.
These type of Steam sales, coincidentally, are just what indie developer of The Castle Doctrine Jason Rohrer recently said have a negative impact on indie games. "To put it bluntly: sales screw your fans," Rohrer said. "Your fans love your games and eagerly await your next release. They want to get your game as soon as it comes out, at full price. But they are foolish to do that, because a sale is right around the corner."
Gone Home was on the best games of 2013 lists of several GameSpot editors. It's also nominated for several Game Developers Choice Awards, including Game of the Year, the Innovation Award, and Best Narrative.