Steam Greenlight seemed like a good idea on paper.
The section of the online store front was intended to expose gamers to titles being developed by lesser known creators. A small fee (well, $100 so ‘small’ is really a matter of opinion here) allowed developers to place their game on Greenlight and have the community vote to make it available on the Steam store proper.
The trouble with this is that it created noise and finding a game you want among the thousands of titles you don’t is tricky business. It’s a topic that one Jim Sterling has addressed on countless occasions.
Now Valve has announced that it plans to scrap Greenlight for another system, Steam Direct.
“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,” said Valve in a blog.
And that appears to be it. Developers create a game, pay Valve a publishing fee and their game goes up for sale on Steam.
At time of writing Valve has not said how much this fee will be. It has said that in discussions with dev’s figures ranging from $100 to $5 000 were proposed but the firm is gathering more information before settling on a figure.
Valve is looking to release Steam Direct in Spring 2017 (that’s our Autumn here in South Africa) at which point Greenlight will be no more.
It will be interesting to see whether Direct proves to be a more effective form of quality control than Greenlight was. Analysis conducted last year revealed that 38% of Steam’s library was released in 2016.
We are apprehensive about that fee as is Valve which notes there are pros and cons to keeping the fee affordable and making it higher than it is at present.
As with everything Valve does, Direct is constantly being looked at an tweaked. We want to know from you whether you think this is good news for devs and gamers a like. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.