Valve announced that Steam Greenlight was being retired and replaced by a new program called Steam Direct back in February. The hope is that this will eliminate some of the confusion and get rid of the terrible games that have been pushed through onto the platform by Greenlight. The idea behind the fee developers need to pay to get into the Steam Direct program is that it will discourage people just trying to exploit Valve’s platform to make a quick buck. In a blog post today, Valve announced that the Steam Direct fee will be a “recoupable” $100, although they have not announced yet just how developers will be able to recoup that money.
Valve was originally debating a few of anywhere from $100 to $5000 to get a game onto Steam Direct. However, they went with the lower figure, explaining: “… We’ve decided we’re going to aim for the lowest barrier to developers as possible, with a $100 recoupable publishing fee per game, while at the same time work on features designed to help the Store algorithm become better at helping you sift through games. We’re going to look for specific places where human eyes can be injected into the Store algorithm, to ensure that it is working as intended, and to ensure it doesn’t miss something interesting. We’re also going to closely monitor the kinds of game submissions we’re receiving so that we’re ready to implement more features.”
The post also discusses some upcoming changes to their Curator program.
Some of the decisions Valve has made regarding the Steam platform have worked wonders. Others, not as well; who can forget the paid mods fiasco? Greenlight started as a great place to give upcoming developers a chance at the big leagues but devolved steadily into trash and cash grabs. Maybe Steam Direct is just what the platform needs?
Think Steam Direct is going to work as Valve sees it? Or are people always going to find a way to game the system? Let us know in the comments below.