It’s finally happening. Steam is killing off Steam Greenlight. No longer will developers have to jump through hoops to get Steam users to vote up their game before it could get on Steam. However, the replacement system might not make things any better.
Steam Greenlight is getting killed off and replaced with a service called Steam Direct. This change is meant to do a lot of things. One of the biggest is to make it harder for garbage games to get on Steam. However, the only real oversight Valve will be doing is checking each submission to make sure that it is actually a game.
In Steam’s blog post about the change they explained, “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.”
That’s right, now developers will have to pay if they want to get their game on Steam, and it might be more than you’d think. The number Steam threw out was as low as $100, and as high as $5,000. Ouch, for a lot of people that’d be a few months wages. Not to mention developers in parts of the world where money goes further wouldn’t have as much to play with.
This change will undoubtedly get a ton of backlash. Pretty much any change would, but hopefully (and most likely) Valve will be gauging the community’s reaction and tweaking the program based on that. Especially the price range. This is also great news for publishers as small game developers will likely need help getting games onto Steam now. A decently sized publishing company would be able to take the risk of the up front cost to get a game on Steam easier than a developer on their own.
So, Steam Greenlight is being replaced with Steam Direct. Games voted on by users is being replaced with paying to get your game onto Steam. A lot of people are skeptical, and maybe this will even turn more developers to making games for consoles. There are a lot of questions, and not a lot of answers. However, I’d say it’s definitely a good thing for publishing companies, and that a bunch will rise up because of this. What about you? What do you think about the change from Greenlight to Direct? Is this a good move, or a bad one? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.