Valve made the news official: Steam Greenlight is dead. It's not just dead, it's dead and gone for good. For all the love, hate, indifference, ambivalence, criticism and ridicule it received, Steam Greenlight is no more. Valve is set to replace the service with the new offering starting next week.
Over on the official Steam community page, one of the Steam staff outlined the details on the closing of the Steam Greenlight service. It originally popped up back in August of 2012, five years ago, as a way to help curate all the games coming through the digital distribution storefront.
The purpose of Steam Greenlight was to enable independent developers, small time studios, and non-published individuals to submit their games through the Greenlight backend and then the Steam community would be allowed to vote on the game and determine if it was worth seeing it through to the official Steam storefront.
There was a number of criticisms about the service because it was difficult to tell what sort of threshold was required in order to allow the game to make it through the voting process. There was also an issue of developers not knowing how much traction or how many votes were required for approval. This led to a lot of disgruntlement from some developers who claimed the system was stacked against them.
Some low-tier troll games and meme-filled titles ended up garnering a lot of attention for being goofy and funny. Adult-themed visual novels were also quick to gain both a lot of attention and a lot of ridicule from people who felt as if those games didn't belong on Steam, while others really wanted to play them. And then there were the cloned games and asset-flipped titles that looked decent but were rip-offs of other games that some scalper was submitting in hopes of making a quick payday.
There was a myriad of issues surrounding Steam Greenlight, even though it did open the door for a lot of highly popular games, including the high-selling indie title YouTubers Life, Stardew Valley and 7 Days to Die. It was also thanks to Steam Greenlight that the highly frenetic and well-received first-person shooter, Superhot, managed to gain an audience. The popularity of the game even led to a VR port for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive that has the potential of being considered one of the best VR experiences on the market at the moment.
So despite its shortcomings, Steam Greenlight still offered gamers and game developers a decent way to get new games out there.
Now that the service is closed, Valve is somewhat going back to the way they used to curate games by having developers directly send the games through the new Steam Direct service.
Just like with Steam Greenlight, Steam Direct will require a $100 fee in order to submit games. Valve will take a look at the game and determine if it's appropriate for the Steam store, ensure that there's no malware within the title, and go through a 30-day vetting process for indie developers who have not previously used Steam Greenlight.
Valve will open up Steam Direct to indie developers starting June 13th. For developers who pay the $100 entry fee, the money will be recouped once the game surpasses the $1,000 sales threshold. Unfortunately, unlike Steam Greenlight, it doesn't sound like the public will have much access to games submitted through Steam Direct.