Valve finally replaces the faulty Steam Greenlight system with Steam Direct

Fill out an application, pay a fee, and your game could be on Steam.

Steam Greenlight’s always been a compromise, at best. The system, which allowed users to vote on which indie games should be on Steam, marked the beginning of a transition from “Valve as Curator” to “Valve as Hands-Off Storefront.” And with the new Steam Direct, that transition appears complete. From the announcement:

“Over Steam’s 13-year history, we have gradually moved from a tightly curated store to a more direct distribution model. In the coming months, we are planning to take the next step in this process by removing the largest remaining obstacle to having a direct path, Greenlight. Our goal is to provide developers and publishers with a more direct publishing path and ultimately connect gamers with even more great content.”

Set to release sometime this spring, Steam Direct asks developers to fill out some paperwork, pay a publishing fee, and that’s it. No panhandling for votes or having to know somebody over at Valve. In the announcement, the process is likened to “applying for a bank account.”

The fee is still in flux, with Valve saying, “We talked to several developers and studios about an appropriate fee, and they gave us a range of responses from as low as $100 to as high as $5,000. There are pros and cons at either end of the spectrum, so we’d like to gather more feedback before settling on a number.”

Suffice it to say $5,000 would cut down heavily on the number of indie games hitting Steam, severely impacting many smaller developers. On the other hand, $100 likely isn’t sufficient to stem the tide of shovelware cluttering the store lately. There’s got to be a balance, though I don’t know what exactly that number is and I’m sure no matter how low there will be some developers who’re affected negatively. Enough of them, and we could see itch.io and other indie hubs surge in importance.

It’s also worth noting, though, that Valve terms this a “recoupable fee.” Hard to tell at the moment whether the money is returned to you automatically, or only after making a certain amount of money in sales, or whether it’s at Valve’s discretion. We’ll see.

In any case, Direct seems a world better than Greenlight already. Sure, there are concerns about the fee and its effects on the ecosystem, but I’d take anything at this point over Greenlight’s gimmicky, spam-prone voting system. We’ll update you with more, whenever Valve sees fit to break its silence again.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Hayden Dingman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?