As foretold, June 13 is upon us, and with it, the end of Steam Greenlight. In its place we find Steam Direct, Valve’s new system for submission curation on their digital store. Not gonna lie, I am actually hopeful that this is going to improve the groovy-to-rubbish ratio on Steam additions, even if it does seem like… just about anything goes. Anything that’s both playable and isn’t harmful in any way, that is. Oh, and no pornographic content, and a couple of other things. Still, just about anything seems to go?
Maybe Greenlight was better in this regard? At least there, utter rubbish submissions got shot down through user curation more often than not. But perhaps I am being overly sceptical here, when I should be optimistic. Perhaps this new, significantly more streamlined process is for the better, ensuring everyone gets a shot at the glory of having their game on Steam? Perhaps. Only time will tell, although at least the $100 fee is similar to that of Greenlight, and developers will be able to recoup it by reaching “$1,000.00 USD Adjusted Gross Revenue for Steam Store and in-app purchases”. So far, so good, and onto the bussiness-y side of things.
For starters, a bit of ‘digital paperwork’ has to be filled out when submitting, including “tax status and withholding rate” and bank information – both of which must be tied to your business. Once that’s good and ready, before pressing that lovely button to send in your game, do read the rules as a lot of things are simply not accepted. Things like pornography and other offensive/shocking content, malware, viruses and similar applications, to name but a few. Or put differently: ‘keep it clean’.
Oh, and much as everyone hates a delayed launch, getting your game on Steam does kinda do that. I mean, there’s a 30-day waiting period during which the title in question is thoroughly tested for malicious content, its store page examined and last but not least, the developer itself gets checked out; because Valve wants to know who they’re doing business with (no, really – that’s what it says right here).
After Steam Direct has been up and running for a while, we’ll share some analysis of what (if any) changes in volume of submissions or behavior of developers.
Time will tell what kind of Steam Direct will have on the store in comparison to Greenlight, but chances are it’ll at least be a cleaner and smoother affair for most developers, not having to wade through vote gathering and all that nonsense. Fingers crossed, and RIP Steam Greenlight!