It quietly happened earlier in the week, but Valve has officially killed off Steam Greenlight. We talked in an earlier post about the "Steam Direct" program that was being drafted to replace it, and the day has finally come that the switch has been flipped.
So some of the details that were up in the air have fully been hammered out. And here's the new and updated list of requirements for a developer to release a game via Steam Direct:
- Digital paperwork. We need to know about the person and/or company that we will be doing business with. So the digital paperwork includes all the expected information such as company name, address, and contact information. There is also a brief tax and identity verification process that a developer will need to go through once to get set up.
- The app fee. There is now a $100 recoupable app fee for each application to release on Steam. Steamworks developers will pay this fee once as part of the initial paperwork, which will unlock the first appID. Once all the paperwork has been completed, and the developer is set up in Steamworks, additional appIDs may be purchased for $100 each. This fee for each appID is returned in the payment period after that game has at least $1,000 in Steam store or in-app purchases.
- Review processes. Building a release pipeline to support thousands of developers and millions of customers is a delicate balance. We specifically don't want an onerous and detailed certification process that makes it difficult for developers to release games, but we also want some level of confidence that games are configured correctly and aren't going to do unexpected things to customers' computers. So we have a couple of brief review periods where our team plays each game to check that it is configured correctly, matches the description provided on the store page, and doesn't contain malicious content. These processes shouldn't take more than a day or two unless we find something configured incorrectly or problematic.
So the big deal is that second bit. They finally settled on the cost of entry into the program. Apparently they were originally considering a $500 fee, but feedback from their developer community pushed that number even lower. So they've settled on $100 to get a game put on Steam.
I think this is a great barrier for entry. It's low enough that an indie studio can easily budget this in. But it is high enough that it will keep someone from just putting any pile of crap on the store. Combined, with the review process highlighted in part 3, this can only be better for the gaming community at large.
Another interesting thing, at the time that they are making this switch, there were 3400 games pending approval in the prior Greenlight program. They've accelerated the acception process where they could, and this final class of Greenlight games have been Greenlit. Anything that failed to meet the minimum criteria (like not having enough voter data), is eligible to submit through the new Steam Direct program.
If you want to learn more about the process, or are interested in getting involved to get a game onto Steam, you can find out more info over here.
So what do you think about all of this? Do you look forward to seeing more indie content on the Steam store? Let us know in the comments below.
**CHOP'S eSPORTS GAME OF THE WEEK**
Sunday June 18th @ 6pm - FlyQuest vs Cloud9 - It's their first matchup of this split. Both teams are under-performing, but it's still really fun to see Hai and company play against their old team. I can't pick a team to cheer for, but I suspect that Cloud9 is favored to win here.
As usual, this can be found at Riot's LoLeSports website.
I also want to take a moment to recommend another potential eSport to check out. SSB64 is throwing their big annual tournament this weekend SNOSA 3. If you want some fast paced and crazy Smash Brother's 64 action, this is the place to catch it this weekend. You can find out more information on the tournament itself over here. And I expect coverage to be on the official SSB64 Twitch Channel, which you can find at the link.