Valve have pulled the plug on Steam Greenlight today, closing down the controversial service in favor of an even more controversial one. Steam Direct will be launching on June 13th, and it’s going to replace people’s votes with an upfront fee for every game. You can already see how that’s going to make things better for
everyone involved Valve, right?
So developers will basically have to pay for the privilege of giving Valve 30% of each sale. That makes sense. That’s how shops usually work, right? Oh, but it’s going to help with the chaff, because Those Pesky Asset Flippers won’t be able to get in as easily – in fact, they’ll be able to get in even more easily. They just pay a fee and they’re in! On the other hand, you can pretty much say goodbye to freeware games, because who can afford to waste $100 per game?
The upside, for people intending to sell their games, is that the fee will be recoupable. After the game grosses $1000, you get the hundred back. And if it doesn’t? Well, tough luck.
As for the games that didn’t get greenlit while the service was alive and well, they’ll be reviewed internally by Valve, and some of them will be released. There are around 3500 games in limbo, so it’ll take a while. They say their goal is to greenlight as many games as possible, and if your game isn’t among them, you can ask for a refund of the submission fee. And then you can put it on Steam using the new service, because why not?
Incidentally, GOG is a great store you should check out – all of their games are DRM-free, and they seem to be trying to actually make both their customers and developers happy. Itch.io is another fantastic place filled with hope and wonder, especially for smaller stuff.