Due to this, early games for PCs were often coded by one or two programmers and self-distributed in stores or mail order.Shareware games became a popular means to distribute demos or partially complete games in the 1980s and into the 1990s, where players could purchase the full game from the vendor after trying it.Various methods have been used to integrate advertising into video games to advertise products, organizations or viewpoints.
While direct online distribution helped indie games to reach players, the arrival of online digital game storefronts such as Steam and further boosted awareness of indie games, as these storefronts allowed developers to publish, update, and advertise their games directly, and players to download the games anywhere, with the storefront otherwise handling the distribution and sales factors.
Separately, console game systems from the seventh generation in 2005 and onward included Internet-based services for players, such as Xbox Live, Play Station Network, and Nintendo Network, which included digital distribution of games.
By the mid-1990s, the recognition of the PC as a viable gaming option, and advances in technology that led to 3D gaming created many commercial opportunities for video games.
During the last part of the 1990s, the indie game scene subsided, since a small team could not readily compete in costs, speed and distribution as a commercial entity could.
Examples include billboards advertising for (and product placement of) Bawls energy drink in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, and billboards for Adidas sportswear in FIFA International Soccer.