Valve sure has been busy recently, what with the highly anticipated release of Source Filmmaker (click here), working to provide a secure Linux service and, of course, the irresistible siren that is the Steam Summer Sale (it just takes your wallet and stamps all your money into the ground – like a school bully, except you’re actually really pleased about it). However, all of those could be completely individual, standalone posts – what I’m really here to talk about is Steam Greenlight.
In the past, if a small developer wanted their game to be sold on Steam, they’d have to fill out an application form (like this one) and wait about for that all important ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ – but, all that is about to change. Steam Greenlight intends to switch all that responsibility to us, the community, in a fancy new voting system which, I imagine, will borrow heavily from its well received Workshop success. Indie developers will now be able to submit their games/demos/screenshots at any stage of production, allowing for voters to pick and choose who they would like to see in the marketplace. This, of course, is a brilliant change to the old system and really creates a lot more opportunity for any upcoming or existing projects to become accessible to a much wider audience – around 40 million, in fact.
Greenlight’s development is an honest reveal of what Steam has always been about – acknowledging the shifting interests within games and allowing for companies, big or small, to be a part of it. Other portals, such as Indievania (click here), will be able to merge and advertise to the masses what they have to offer. However, with any form of freedom, issues will arise.
Duplicates, false submissions and the possibility of virus-laden software may be found within the flood of new applications – or, as Rock, Paper, Shotgun pointed out, ‘a billion joke listings for Half-Life 2: Episode 3 will instantaneously appear’ (article here), which obviously brings to mind the question of ‘how will Greenlight be moderated?’. I emailed Valve with questions concerning this, however have had no response as of yet – I guess we’ll all have to wait and see for ourselves.
Steam Greenlight is intended for release in August this year.
Visit the Steam Greenlight page here
Catch the Steam Summer Sale here