Valve had announced earlier in the year that Steam Greenlight would be getting replaced. The replacement would be called Steam Direct, and it's now been revealed just what sort of barriers will be in place to gate-keep content, and how much developers will be charged to publish games on Steam. It's going to be $100... the same as Steam Greenlight.
The announcement was made over on the Steam community page, where Valve revealed that Steam Direct would be coming soon and that the fee to publish games through the service would be $100.
The post explains that the team overseeing the new Steam Direct service mulled over what the price should be for developers, ranging between $100 and $5,000. Instead of initially announcing the price back in February, Valve let the community talk over the fees. This included developers chiming in and gamers offering their feedback as well.
Some argued that making the fees too low would invite trolls to make a bunch of fake games just to throw onto Steam. This has happened in the past, where some joke games were voted through Steam Greenlight just because some people liked that it was a meme game, such as the numerous titles based on Gabe Newell making Half-Life 3 or some other such nonsense. Keep in mind that troll games managed to squeeze through the Greenlight process even with the $100 Greenlight fee. Some felt that making the Steam Direct fee too low would just invite the same kind of nonsense and low-quality titles back to the platform, while raising the entry fee high enough would weed out trolls, scammers, asset-flippers and those just looking to throw out a clicker title to make some quick cash on a low-effort game.
On the opposite side of the argument, there were developers who argued that $100 in USD is sometimes tough to come up with in third-world countries or other regions where the cost of living is quite low. It was a salient point given that a lot of developers who produce content in hopes of making it onto Steam aren't necessarily from the United States. They argued that making the fee above $100 would limit the sort of developers who would be allowed to have their games distributed on Steam.
Other conversations included a compromise of suggesting that Valve should make the fee $500, but developers who couldn't afford the Steam Direct fee could then go to Kickstarter or IndieGoGo and crowdfund the rest of the money. It wasn't a bad option, but for some reason it wasn't the most popular of solutions. A lot of it also boiled down to the fact that not every developer was comfortable with asking for handouts through Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, and others feared that it could further be abused by trolls and scammers, not unlike how Kickstarter has already been abused in the past with various gaming scams.
In the end, Valve decided to stick with the $100 publication fee for a game on Steam Direct. The new service will supposedly remove the community voting barrier that games currently have to go through on Steam Greenlight. As the name suggests, Steam Direct will enable developers to directly publish to Steam once the service goes live.
In the post it's mentioned that the next update will be about the closure of Steam Greenlight and when Steam Direct will officially go live.
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