Farewell, Steam Greenlight. Hello, Steam Direct!

PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member
So, Greenlight is getting removed and replaced: http://steamcommunity.com/games/593110/announcements/detail/558846854614253751

If I'm reading that correctly, instead of the Greenlight fee and voting, there's going to be an (undecided and "recoupable") fee per game to publish. "Pay to be Played"? Valve seems to feel that the problem with Greenlight is that it's too much of a barrier to entry, which, shall we say, contrasts with most observers' opinions.


  • RobrechtRobrecht Posts: 292Member
    edited February 11
    I think 'recoupable' means 'not so much you won't make it back if your game sells, even if it doesn't sell great'.

    The main issue I see with this is that it doesn't actually deter any of the really terrible asset flippers. After all, they've already dropped a wad on the assets they're flipping any way (and thus saved on hundreds of man hours, worth more than a couple hundred bucks, of actual game making) and right now they're already giving away hundred of dollars (at the prices they charge) worth of free 'games' in exchange for Greenlight votes (or cutting out the middleman and simply paying one of the several commercial Greenlight voting groups).

    It doesn't solve the actual problem, it just means that it's Valve that gets paid instead of the...
    Oh, I get it.
    Post edited by Robrecht on
  • nujumkeynujumkey Posts: 284Member
    Cant help but feel this will make indie publushing harder, as under Greenlight you only payed the $100 greenlight fee once where now its a game by game basis.
    Twitter is @nujumkey
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  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member
    edited February 11
    Hmm, it does seem like it could be a direct benefit to Valve. Do less, get more. Sensible, in a way.

    I'm not sure I agree about making things harder. More expensive in many scenarios, but fewer delays. (Took 6 months for Glade Raid to get Greenlit, for example.) But I like where the expense is concentrated, relative to Greenlight: one entity releasing lots of games that don't do well will be punished heavily relative to current practices, while one entity releasing a single game that does okay should actually end up with more money (assuming the fee really is "recoupable").

    I'll miss Greenlight itself, though. It was a nice way to get a lot of feedback.
    Post edited by Pyrian on
  • DaikunDaikun Posts: 148Member
    edited February 12
    @nujumkey And that's where the problem arose. Lots of hackjob indie devs abused Greenlight by paying the one-time fee, then shoveling as much unfinished crap (as well as copies of the same game, but with a different title) they wanted to put on the platform. Digital Homicide was one of the most famous examples, showing the darker side of Greenlight's laughably easy barrier to entry. (If you're not familiar with them, TheCrazyEven did a great pair of videos showcasing their mischief.)

    Part 1 - Part 2

    By piling on more fees, fewer indie devs will feel encouraged to try to emulate DigiHom's strategy. Don't have the extra cash? Good! Now you can't use Steam like your personal toilet.

    That's the idea, anyway...

    EDIT- An added point to bring up: I'm not saying this will get rid of crappy games on Steam; that's absurd. Think of it this way instead...

    Which is worse: A dev releasing one crappy game, or a dev releasing a bunch of crappy games at once? Valve is cutting out the worse of two evils.
    Post edited by Daikun on
  • NosyArgentCommanderNosyArgentCommander Posts: 210Member
    edited February 12
    Maybe I am wrong, but I started to notice that most of steams problems are due to lack of proper curation of visibility. You could have a ton of crappy content on the website, and as long as it doesn't get predominally featured, it won't bother anyone.

    I never though I would ever say this, but Newgrounds is an excellent place to look as an example. It allows a lot of crap to travel (almost) unfiltered using a system equal to greenlight. But then the games/movies grow in visibly according to the amount of views and votes, and even get on different categories to filter them faster.

    I understand that Steam is different since games have to be paid for, but there could be systems to work around this. For example, STEAM could provide a service where an small number of random users receive the new games for free. Then the vote from these users could give the game  an additional amount of notoriety for a little while to stay on the front page.

    Which is worse: A dev releasing one crappy game, or a dev releasing a bunch of crappy games at once? Valve is cutting out the worse of two evils.

    The problem is that the new filter my be too high, damaging those who don't produce "crap asset flips" but don't produce high quality content either. AKA the Indy video-game Developers. (at least the low-tier indy devs)

    What's even worse is that this "solution" doesn't seem to solve the problem of shovelware at all. Since shovelware is SO cheap to produce, you can still produce them, even if the returns are minimal. As a matter of facts, you just need to produce MORE of them to yield profits.
    Post edited by NosyArgentCommander on
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  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member
    Well, only if each shovel beats the fee. A per-game instead of per-dev is definitely less friendly to shovelware. Setting a fee that stops all shovelware while allowing all legitimate work is probably an impossible standard, so if they're not willing to curate, there will have to be a tradeoff.

    It sounds like they're aiming for more inclusivity rather than less, though.
  • galdon Posts: 239Member
    I do not like the idea of the filter being entirely fee based. As someone who is remarkably adverse to risk-taking, it seems like something that could intimidate a good indie dev away from taking the chance on releasing their game on steam if they happen to be poor and don't have the funds to pay for the fee out of pocket. 

    As long as asset flips continue to be profitable, they will continue to submit their games even at the higher price; so basically this just hurts people who don't have much money and not specifically the people who produce low effort content.
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member
    Asset flipper: High game quantity, high fees.
    Good indie dev: Low game quantity (one a year AT MOST), low fees.

    There's no guarantee that asset flippers are deep pocketed and "legitimate" indies are not. Indeed, I suspect the opposite is true, since asset flips right now require little upfront costs, while spending a year or two making a game more-or-less full time requires that you have some capital to expend just to survive.
  • DaikunDaikun Posts: 148Member
    edited February 13
    EDIT: Never mind. Misread the post.
    Post edited by Daikun on
  • RobrechtRobrecht Posts: 292Member
    Actually, asset flippers do tend to have deep pockets, that's kinda the problem.

    Part of the reason why so much shit makes it through Greenlight's 'popularity contest' is that asset flippers take all the money they save from not actually developing a game themselves and spend it on buying votes from paid voting rings. The new system just shifts who the asset flipper pays to get on Steam from the voting rings to Valve itself.
  • UntaxableUntaxable Posts: 234Member
    How much money does a usual asset-flip make, anyway?

    I'm uh... asking for a friend.
    Post will probably be edited by Untaxable soon
  • RobrechtRobrecht Posts: 292Member
    edited February 15
    Depending on the price the developer flipper asks for their someone else's product? Couple hundred bucks per week in the first few weeks, a chunk of change per month afterwards.

    Asset flips are popular with certain people who buy steam keys in bulk for various purposes.
    Post edited by Robrecht on
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