Stream Greenlight shuts its doors ahead of Stream Direct’s arrival

Steam Greenlight is now officially dead. The community-based approach to game curation that Valve introduced a couple of years ago is finally making way for its successor, with Steam Direct launching next week. Developers wanting to get their games on the storefront will no longer have to court likes from potential customers, with Valve instead charging a flat fee for each game and putting some slight compatibility rules ahead of each launch.

Steam Greenlight worked as a sort of “survival of the fittest”. Developers would pay $100 to have unlimited access to submission, where they would sit waiting for community response. With enough interest, Valve would greenlight the project and give it a spot on the Steam storefront. A novel system that was welcomed after years of draconian curation from Valve’s side, but a system that was very quickly manipulated for devious means.

Asset flippers (studios that simply buy assets and cobble them together calling it a game) quickly overran the service, and means to generate false interest became commonplace. Developers even began tricking the trading card system to make some money off of it, while also flooding Steam with so many games that legitimate, good titles couldn’t shine though.

Steam Direct then s a bid to change that. Now, developers will need to pay $100 per game for submission, which can be claimed back once the title has made over $1000. The fee will ensure the game makes it on to the storefront after a month’s waiting period, where Valve and dedicated curators from the community will comb through the finer details and make sure it’s something that needs to be sold. At least that’s what it sounds like on paper. Greenlight also sounded like an all-encompassing solution, so we’ll have to see how Direct fares.

It launches next week. Existing Greenlight titles will be curated by Valve during the transitional period.

Last Updated: June 7, 2017

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