Steam Greenlight being removed

Sup peeps

Just saw this on Gamasutra, thought I would share:
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/291277/Valve_to_shut_down_Steam_Greenlight_replace_with_a_feebased_game_submission_system.php

Do you think this is a good thing? The cost being between $100 - $5000 seems a bit concerning?

Comments

  • It's a great idea. $5000 is more than reasonable if we are to clean up the platform and get rid of the clutter.
    Remember that they are saying this will be refunded through sales, so I assume once your sales hit 5k it would then return the funds. It can only benefit us all as there will be way more visibility for productions with a 'curated through fees' store.
  • I wonder what happens to people that are currently in greenlight, and ones that are about to be. We were about to submit, so do we just wait until this new process starts now?
  • Valve has said they would refund any green light fees once they close the green light process - in a few months I believe?
    I am excited to see what this does to the Steam store but I think any change is better than what is going on now.
  • I'm actually quite glad about this. Steam is becoming over saturated with awful content, which in turn erodes consumer confidence. Besides, if your game is halfway decent, just email Valve and ask for access. They like helping out good products...
    Thanked by 1bischonator
  • It's a great idea. $5000 is more than reasonable if we are to clean up the platform and get rid of the clutter.
    Remember that they are saying this will be refunded through sales, so I assume once your sales hit 5k it would then return the funds. It can only benefit us all as there will be way more visibility for productions with a 'curated through fees' store.
    Ive got to say that I think it's a bit steep. Sure you get the money back, but having that money available up front is going to be challenging for a lot of people. And some people may mistakenly bet their savings on a game that will never make that return.
    Thanked by 2critic ryan20fun
  • edited

    Thinking a little more about this and I assume a higher fee is essentially the point of this exercise.
    Valve don't need the money - they make billions of dollars a year, heck they have said they will refund the entrance fee by not taking their royalty up to that amount.

    I assume the fee and this new process is designed to create a barrier to entry. From their blog post and taking a look around Steam, the asset flip culture and really low quality games that have been released this past year have caused the store to become terribly cluttered. 5,000 games a year just increases the signal to noise ratio and makes it harder to get noticed by potential customers.

    Do we really want the app or play store fiasco where unless you cheat the system, buy players or get featured your game perishes due to the mass of titles?

    Valve cannot curate new games like they used to sot he only alternative is to make it harder to get onto the sales platform.

  • What happens if you pay $5000 and they decline your game?
  • Besides, if your game is halfway decent, just email Valve and ask for access. They like helping out good products...
    I was under the impression that these days this only applied to VR games?
  • edited
    Just a little more thin
    roguecode said:
    Besides, if your game is halfway decent, just email Valve and ask for access. They like helping out good products...
    I was under the impression that these days this only applied to VR games?
    We didn't Greenlight CAYNE, I just asked our Valve Rep and they said cool and gave us a new appid. I have no idea what the criteria is.

    Thanked by 1jackshiels
  • @Zaphire They can't really - it's pay to entry. They only decline if you don't meet those Quality Assurance criteria. Kinda like certification on consoles/mobile.

    @jackshiels The Valve contact thing has been around for ages, but if you don't find the right one, they're not interested. Just remember Broforce and all these games had to go through Greenlight because a Valve employee didn't see their value:

    - Incredipede
    - Kentucky Route Zero
    - La Mulana
    - FRACT OST

    All games that were award winning and that were quite financially successful in the end. After you're on Steam and you have a Valve contact it's much easier - before that, breaking onto Steam is still a little tricky.

    @bischonator I think if Valve really didn't care about money they would just spend money on more curators :). They want Steam to be as automated as possible to reduce overheads and increase their margins. Steam cares about the customers more than the devs, they literally say "our goal is to make customers happy".

    They are also looking like they're taking moves to make the storefront less cluttered. I don't really think this move will do that though. Valve even says in their blog post that the only reason they're doing this is because they trust their algorithm that shows games to players. This means they don't really care about the gross amount of games on Steam - they just care about showing the right games to the right players.

    An idealistic part of me hopes this will clean up the storefront of garbage games, but I think it probably won't. Even without those rock-bottom games, there are still way more good games being made than ever before. This won't be about quality - it'll be about money. All the experimental stuff will disappear from Steam unless it's got a free pass through that fee.
  • Hmmm... We had little difficulty getting access. Maybe because the VR market is still needing a good supply of games? Regardless I don't have experience applying for more general publishing routes.
  • edited
    I think it's not a bad idea, but $5k is *really* steep, and perhaps that *is* the point, to reduce chancers who have no confidence in their creation and just throw garbage up to see if it sticks. I guess now the bar for "is it worth my time to publish this game" is "will it make at least $5k, which is actually a realistic question to ask before publishing things, "professionally" considering this.

    But I agree with Ben. This will drastically cut down on the non-commercial stuff. I think we'll see more clones, of higher quality but lower originality.

    I assume it's 5k entry fee per title, not 5k for any number of titles? Well if you're always making at least 5k on each title then it's kinda free I guess... pay 5k, make 5k back, put another game up, pay 5k, make 5k back... (Why does the maths for this scenario feel like no money's being made?)

    @bischonator It's obviously much, much easier for people with 1) Already successful game/s under their belt on the platform and 2) niche interest titles (VR) to get approved bypassing the system.
  • @tuism, it seems like you will get the fee back by Valve not taking their first $5000 cut of profits. If so, you'd need to sell about $16,700 to have successfully made back the fee. (warning: Pre 8am math)

  • @bischonator I think if Valve really didn't care about money they would just spend money on more curators :). They want Steam to be as automated as possible to reduce overheads and increase their margins. Steam cares about the customers more than the devs, they literally say "our goal is to make customers happy".
    That's pretty much my read on the whole situation, for good or for ill.

  • @roguecode thanks for maths! :D
  • Everyone seems to be forgetting that Steam was a curated store before Greenlight came along. It's hard to google that far back but I remember articles complaining about Valve being "kingmakers" and deciding which games succeed to be quite commonplace at the time. People complained a lot about the process feeling random and some games being approved and some games not being approved for seemingly random criteria. Sometimes you would get a response, other times you would just hear nothing.

    So now people are asking to go back to that system for some reason? Or "hire more curators" - let's say Steam hires a few dozen people. Curation like this is a subjective task and it's almost impossible that curation would be consistent. People will complain about some people having contacts at valve who seem to be getting all their games on Steam while my friend's super awesome indie zombie crafting game isn't and obviously they are biased against him and I'm suing. This is literally what happened before.

    So then the next logical step is to have the community curate content which lead to Greenlight in the first place and the Curator/friend recommendation/user review systems that are in place now. Probably the ideal system is that anyone can sell whatever they want on Steam but the "automated" community curation very quickly pushes the cruft down.

    One thing I don't understand is why people find the high volume of low quality games on Steam so concerning. I very rarely even encounter crappy games on Steam at all, I usually only see them when Jimquisition makes an episode about them. I'm not concerned about my games being devalued because of other low quality content because I have faith that my games are good enough to stand out.

    $5000 might be steep but it is a good marker - if you don't think your game is going to make that much on Steam, and/or you can't find a publisher to front you that much, then maybe your game has issues in the first place. If you are making a very niche or free game that isn't designed to get profit there are other storefronts such as itch and GOG that will probably better serve your target market anyway. $5000 is less than three months' worth of burn rate for even the tiniest studio (if you are paying your team salaries at all in the first place). The criteria for a game being on steam and getting featured will be "I believe my game will succeed" followed by the community saying "this game is worth buying and recommending".

    I do realise that I'm in a very privileged position and that my viewpoint of "a very good game will almost always succeed regardless of the system" might be out of touch and people blaming the system rather than the quality of their products does annoy me more than it should. That said a very tightly curated storefront does benefit me the most as a consumer and as a developer considering that I have contacts and almost never browse the storefront for random games.

    I think Steam in all its incarnations (except the old curated version) has still been miles ahead of the "get featured or die" system that the apple storefront has or the wild open wasteland of Google play.
    Thanked by 2dammit bischonator
  • At $5k you can basically rule out hobbyists and solo dame developers from releasing on Steam, it will just move the privileged class to small studios as the bottom level participants.
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