This Needs to Exist is small now, but it’s growing. We’re reaching out and finding more media, more genres, and more awesome entertainment so that there truly will be something for everyone. We can’t rely on big platforms to give our indie creators a level playing field. They’re all too invested in engineering the outcomes they want. Here, your work rises or falls on its own merit. How well will you serve your customers?

I’ve had my suspicions confirmed that a certain giant retail platform is turning into a pay-to-play marketplace. Just like I’ve said, sponsored ads are taking up all the best space, and the regular spaces for all the little people have been nerfed to make those ads more necessary.

All the platforms do this. Here’s the life cycle:

  1. Great new website helps creators connect with their audience!
  2. A few make it big and become gurus!
  3. Gurus encourage everyone they know to join!
  4. Site becomes known as absolute necessity.
  5. Site sells out, nerfs everything, puts the useful features behind a paywall.
  6. Paywall gets higher and higher until only giant companies can afford it.

I’m sick of it. Bait, wait, and switch is every bit as unethical as bait and switch.

This is why is a straightforward, customer-centered search, not a complex algorithm that hides some things and recommends others. This is why it doesn’t host the actual sales pages or handle the payments. It doesn’t take up a lot of space. It doesn’t need to sort the shoppers. All they have to do is browse the site and find what they want. I hope some of them want what I have to offer at OtherRealm Studio, and will eventually buy some merch as well once I get that done, but I’m not about to cheat to make it happen. I create what I create and people want what they want; it doesn’t need to be complicated.

I want everyone to have the same chance: to create what they create, connect to people who want what they have, and get out of the way. You can apply here for a virtual booth of your own.



PS: Wondering if I’ll ever sell out? Fair question. My integrity is not for sale. And neither is my chance to put a thumb in the eye of greedy, dishonest monopolists bent on cynically exploiting important things like small businesses, independent creators, or the stories that shaped my childhood.

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