Breaking the Mold: Indie Dev Bypasses Steam with Patreon Exclusive

KosGames, a small indie game developer, recently announced an unprecedented move – releasing their first game exclusively through Patreon instead of traditional platforms like Steam. The game, titled Lord of Kensai, aims to provide supporters a rare inside look at the development process.

Bending the Rules

The decision to avoid mainstream distribution channels stems largely from the challenges faced by smaller indie developers in getting visibility. With over 40,000 games on Steam, it is difficult for unknown devs to stand out. KosGames aims to develop a core community of supporters on Patreon who will champion the game.

The cover of the lord of kensai, created by an indie dev.

“We want fans to feel invested and be part of the journey from the start,” said Kosala Ubayasekara, founder of KosGames. “Releasing on Patreon allows us to share behind-the-scenes updates during development and really engage with our audience.”

Cyberpunk City-Builder

Lord of Kensai is a Japanese cyberpunk city-builder set in the fictional universe of Katana-Ra. Players take on the role of a Neon Lord vying for control in the gritty, neon-bathed streets of Kensai City. Core gameplay involves managing resources, building alliances and waging war against rival factions.

Concept art and early game visuals showcase the vibrant, grimy aesthetic KosGames aims for. Recent posts also provide glimpses into the game’s characters and factions.

Engaging a Community


Patreon supporters gain access to content generally hidden from public view like concept art, character studies and preview builds. Membership tiers range from $2.50 to $10 monthly, with the top tier guaranteeing voting rights on key features.

The first playable test build is expected by April 2025 and will be available to all Patreon backers. Regular posts will keep supporters updated on development between releases.

While KosGames has no plans currently for a mainstream launch, continued community support and feedback could make that a future consideration. For now, they are focused on crafting the best possible experience for fans invested in the project early on.

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Zac Kaye
I've been playing games for pretty much as long as I can remember. There's about 15 years of gaming experience under my belt at this point. Destiny, Warframe, Halo, CoD and the list goes on. I was a brief world record holder for Destiny 2 speedrunning, as well as a season-long stint as a top 10 ranked PVP player. More recently, I've been shooting for the Celeste speedrun leaderboards. In-between sessions of getting too mad at shooters, I spend a lot of my time playing gacha games like Honkai Star Rail and Limbus Company.

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