During Valve’s Steam Dev Days event, Valve CEO Gabe Newell revealed that he plans to shut down the Greenlight service. This was made public through several attendees of the event via Twitter. Newell was quoted as saying that they want to be rid of the service “not because it’s not useful, but because we’re evolving.”
While he did not go into detail on what exactly their new alternate was or when it will happen, Rami Ismail of Vlambeer Games stated in a PC Gamer interview that he suspects Valve’s solution would be some kind of peer-to-peer recommendation system. He also predicted that Valve would allow developers to have their own stores within Steam, similar to Amazon’s own affiliate program.
Steam Greenlight started out as a way to give the community more power over what they want to see on Steam through voting. When it first started, the system only picked a small handful of games every month or so. This ended up frustrating some developers, most notably Jools Watsham of Renegade Kid, whose own game Mutant Mudds languished on Greenlight for months. Since then, Steam has significantly increased the frequency of updates and the number of games Greenlit.
It’ll be interesting to see what Valve’s alternative to Steam Greenlight will be. I thought the idea was a really good one, even though the execution was pretty flawed at first. Hopefully, this new idea will be an even better way for indie developers to get their games out to people.