Farewell, Steam Greenlight. Hello, Steam Direct!

PyrianPyrian Posts: 295Member
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.
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Comments

  • 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: 296Member
    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.
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  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 295Member
    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: 169Member
    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: 295Member
    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: 259Member
    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: 295Member
    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: 169Member
    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: 244Member
    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
  • DaikunDaikun Posts: 169Member
    edited May 24
  • nujumkeynujumkey Posts: 296Member
    I mean, its very vague. Hard to say the effect of a system that measures your engagement without seeing the extent of the system.

    Will i not get cards until i read a guide for a game? Or thumbs up a review? If so, can bots not do that sort of thing?
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    Twitter is @nujumkey
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  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 295Member
    Apparently they're collecting a "confidence metric" on the game, wherein once a game reaches a certain level, cards get released (including retroactively). I am not very confident that their algorithm won't be exploited - like, the farmers will reverse engineer it, while legitimate small-time indies won't get through.
  • vlademir1vlademir1 Posts: 428Member
    For me, this just further highlights the problems I've always had with their trading card system.  I engage with that system because it gives me a ton of notices that I need to clear out and fills my Steam inventory with junk I don't care about and need to clear out.  Of course with the recent changes to gifts on Steam I'll not be worrying about my inventory anymore anyway, so now it's just the distracting notices whenever I restart my PC or just update Steam.
    I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. Look upon my works and despair!

    Truth is never lying right there on the surface for everyone to quickly find, it requires dedication, the right tools and time.
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 295Member
    Huh. I get the notices and usually take a peek, but I just leave the junk in the inventory.
  • galdon Posts: 259Member
    My inventory page on steam rarely ever loads, and when it does selling off cards is such a time consuming process it's not worth the 5-10 cents you get out of the card. So, really, I don't pay any attention to the cards anymore either.
  • vlademir1vlademir1 Posts: 428Member
    @galdon Until late last year when they made it so that it requires several extra steps to sell the cards I'd have argued against that view because 90 sec per card, give or take, during the weeks of the holiday sale isn't really all that much IMO.  Now, however, with their added security steps it takes up to 30 min to get each on the store and the changes to gifting games from inventory means I never have a reason to look in my inventory again, so meh.
    I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. Look upon my works and despair!

    Truth is never lying right there on the surface for everyone to quickly find, it requires dedication, the right tools and time.
  • galdon Posts: 259Member
    My experience may be fairly personal; I have perhaps the worst internet you can have shy of dialup. Although, Dialup is more reliable than what I have now; at least I have no memory of dialup ever disconnecting randomly because a single cloud floated gently overhead. 
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 295Member
    So the fee is just $100, and you get it back if you reach $1000 in sales.
  • galdon Posts: 259Member
    That sounds better than expected. It had already cost $100 for permission to use greenlight to begin with, so it's not a larger financial barrier for legit indie devs than had already existed; and if it's direct rather than needing to be voted on (assuming I understand the new system correctly) it would be actually a lower risk for first time devs who might otherwise spend 100 dollars and get nowhere.

    Meanwhile, requiring the payment per title and needing real sales as opposed to handing out keys for both the refund and getting cards should help reduce the viability of spamming asset flips. 
  • ChazChaz Posts: 385Administrator
    Greenlight's problem was a complete lack of oversight rather than the $100 submission. I'm glad that the fee is still reachable to any bedroom indie startup, and fuck those developers who wanted it to be any higher.
  • DaikunDaikun Posts: 169Member
    Greenlight has closed today. Direct opens in a week from now.

    image
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 295Member
    I wonder what happens to unreleased Greenlit games? Do they have to pay another $100? ...Asking for a friend...
  • DaikunDaikun Posts: 169Member
    @Pyrian PC Gamer wrote up the details:

    The closure of Greenlight means that as of today, voting is disabled and submissions for new games will no longer be accepted. Those games still in the system—more than 3400 of them—will be reviewed to determine which ones get the pass and which are rejected. Those that don't make the cut can still be put on the platform via the new Steam Direct service, "provided they meet our basic criteria of legality and appropriateness," and developers of rejected games can appeal to Steam support for a refund of their Greenlight submission fee.
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 295Member
    Hmm. So if they're still passing games, theoretically games that already passed should be fine.
  • DaikunDaikun Posts: 169Member
    edited June 7
    Right. And if it's rejected, they can get their money back.
    Post edited by Daikun on
  • DaikunDaikun Posts: 169Member
    Welp, Direct has failed. Valve hasn't fixed shit with this new system.

  • galdon Posts: 259Member
    The fact that they put up a few asset flip games does not necessarily mean that direct has failed *yet*. It's natural that the companies that have been making a profit off of asset flips would at least *try* to continue to do so. What will determine if it fails or not is if these companies continue to put up asset flips, thus proving that the asset flip strategy remains viable, or if they stop, meaning that it is no longer viable. 
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