By Michael Fontanini / February 10th, 2017
There’s been talk of Steam Greenlight coming to an end for some time now, but so far nothing happened. Now, it seems that the replacement, Steam Direct, is coming very soon (in Spring 2017). Valve itself says that Steam Greenlight brought attention to several issues that need to be addressed. A post from Valve on the Steam Community blog said this:
“After the launch of Steam Greenlight, we realised that it was a useful stepping stone for moving to a more direct distribution system, but it still left us short of that goal. Along the way, it helped us lower the barrier to publishing for many developers while delivering many great new games to Steam. There are now over 100 Greenlight titles that have made at least $1 Million each, and many of those would likely not have been published in the old, heavily curated Steam store,”
Valve also commented that “Greenlight also exposed two key problems we still needed to address: improving the entire pipeline for bringing new content to Steam and finding more ways to connect customers with the types of content they wanted.” Their post also went into detail on what to expect from Steam Direct. The main point here is a stricter vetting process, including application fees and documentation. This documentation is not too far removed from what you would need to get yourself a bank account.
“The next step in these improvements is to establish a new direct sign-up system for developers to put their games on Steam. This new path, which we’re calling “Steam Direct,” is targeted for Spring 2017 and will replace Steam Greenlight. We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account. Once set up, developers will pay a recoupable application fee for each new title they wish to distribute, which is intended to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline,”
Valve is still considering the publisher fee for Steam Direct. They’ve been asking various developers and studios about what the price should be. Some have responded with figures as high as $5,000. That’s not really reasonable for new indie developers, though. Others have responded with values as low as $100. For now, Valve is continuing to collect feedback on this issue.
So why is this happening? The answer has a lot to do with how some developers abused Steam Greenlight and put low-quality software on Steam. Some even sued people who criticized their games! That’s a little ridiculous to say the least. Hopefully Steam Direct will be able to lessen this issue. Of course, at the same time, that publisher fee needs to be reasonable or you’ll shut out some honest people.
SteamSteam DirectSteam GreenlightValve