Bye bye, Greenlight. Hello, Steam Direct.
Valve is changing the way games are published on Steam by replacing Greenlight with Steam Direct. They broke the news in an announcement today on Steam’s website.
Greenlight launched in 2012 as a new approval system for Steam games. This service catalyzed the curation process by giving community members a say in what games made it onto the store.
While Greenlight helped more developers publish more games, players and devs alike have their complaints about it. Steam is finally upgrading the system, but they still had good things to say about Greenlight.
“After the launch of Steam Greenlight, we realized that it was a useful stepping stone for moving to a more direct distribution system, but it still left us short of that goal. Along the way, it helped us lower the barrier to publishing for many developers while delivering many great new games to Steam. There are now over 100 Greenlight titles that have made at least $1 Million each, and many of those would likely not have been published in the old, heavily curated Steam store.”
With the new system, Steam needed to fix the two main issues with Greenlight: “improving the entire pipeline for bringing new content to Steam and finding more ways to connect customers with the types of content they wanted.”
Coming in Spring 2017, Steam Direct will replace Greenlight to improve the digital distribution path.
To get set up with Steam Direct, devs will go through a digital paperwork process similar to “applying for a bank account.” To actually publish a game on the new system, devs will have to pay a refundable fee, which is implemented to reduce clutter in the submission queue.
This application fee has no price yet, but Steam stated surveyed devs said they’d pay anywhere from $100 to $5,000 for publication. Most indie devs would have a hard time fronting thousands of dollars to distribute a game, so hopefully Steam keeps it on the lower end of the spectrum.
What do you think about Steam Direct? What would be a fair fee price for devs? Let us know in the comments!