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Greenlight’s Days Are Officially Numbered and Can Almost be Counted On One Hand

I know. I couldn’t believe it myself either when I read the news, but it’s true: come June 13, almost five years (August 30, 2012) later, Greenlight will be but a thing of the past. While I have been a long-time supporter of the system, in spite of its flaws, honestly… even I believe this to be good news. Mostly due to the amount of absolute rubbish that has dominated submissions in recent weeks, and as such, here’s to Steam Direct, its successor, faring significantly better. Time will tell if that ends up being the case.

That said, while one might not think so by glancing at the quality of most recent submissions, Greenlight has actually helped a lot of really good games get onto Steam. Some of these would likely have been pretty much entirely overlooked otherwise, seeing how important Valve’s digital outlet is for sales these days. For this fact alone, I appreciate the system, flaws and all. Who knows just how many Stardew Valley’s, SUPERHOT’s, BROFORCE’s or Escape Goat’s would have slipped through the cracks otherwise, Valve (obviously…) unable to handle curation themselves?

But that was then, this is now, and in less than a week… Steam Direct will take its place. Oh, and even though submissions have been closed, those who still have a game on Greenlight are not completely out of luck as one final batch will still be pushed through. Note that some titles will not make the cut – for those, a refund request of the fee can be submitted. Voting is also closed by the way, which means… this is it. For real. They’re actually – and finally, some might say – doing it. Greenlight has hit retirement age, job’s done, its course run, and all that. What a ride it has been, though.

Nearly 10 Million players have participated in voting in Steam Greenlight, but over 63 million gamers have played a game that came to Steam via Greenlight. These players have logged a combined 3.5 Billion hours of game time in Greenlight titles.

Now, on the topic of Steam Direct, Valve decided to throw some rather lovely news into the mix. Namely how the fee will be returned “in the payment period after the game has sold $1,000”. Very groovy, if you ask me, and this certainly makes the $100 less of a gamble – unless your game tanks, of course, at which point… well, yeah. The fact that digital paperwork, including bank/tax information, will be required for submitting through Steam Direct should help weed out the garbage too. Also, developers new to Steam will be going through a 30-day ‘cooldown’ period before their submission can be released on Steam, giving Valve enough time to make sure everything is in order, and all that good stuff. Sounds good to me!