Steam Greenlight gives the green light
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:09
If you read the Arts and Entertainment section of The Spectrum with any sort of regularity, you may have noticed at some point that I like to talk about Valve Software’s digital distribution platform, Steam, quite a lot. That’s because the service has been undergoing some major changes over these last few months, not the least of which is Steam Greenlight.
Steam Greenlight is the new way by which Valve will be authorizing games to be sold on the platform for the foreseeable future.
You see, the absolutely massive developer simply couldn’t keep up with every single video game that was submitted for review. So, they’ve turned over that responsibility to the fans. Greenlight allows anyone using the Steam service to vote a game up or down based on his or her advertisement page on the service. If a game gets enough positive votes from the community, then it is brought to the attention of Valve’s internal review team, which then decides if the game is a good fit for the platform.
Given the fact that a release on Steam can just about make or break indie PC games these days, this is kind of a big deal for developers that may rely on the service to make their money.
And while we’re talking about money, getting on Steam Greenlight does require a $100 investment from the developer. This barrier struck up quite a bit of controversy as some are worried it may unfairly segregate smaller teams from getting their fair shake on the review process. The fee was implemented by Valve to act as a deterrent towards those that would put up fake games to troll Steam users and flood Valve’s review process.
The first wave of games from developers willing to part with $100 have already begun to trickle out, with Black Mesa Source being perhaps the most well known and anticipated such title.
We’ll see how Steam Greenlight impacts the indie development scene as both time and the service progress.