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Steam Greenlight lets users rally behind the games they want to play
Steam Greenlight lets users rally behind the games they want to play
July 9, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

July 9, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
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Ever since Valve launched Steam in 2003, the company has remained the sole gatekeeper that determines which games are suitable for the platform. But that changed today, as Valve has just debuted Steam Greenlight, a new feature that allows users to rally behind the games they want to see on the service.

As part of the existing Steam Workshop, Steam Greenlight allows developers to submit their game for consideration, and users can then pledge support for the games they like best. Valve will then check out the games that get the most attention, and those that pass Valve's approval process will then become full-fledged products available on Steam.

It's a fairly significant change for the platform, as never before have Steam users been able to directly influence which games Valve considers for release.

Steam Greenlight also allows developers to submit game concepts or early builds, giving them a chance to raise awareness and generate excitement for their projects well before they're ready for an official debut.

The service isn't live quite yet, but Valve says that the Steam Greenlight functionality is scheduled to launch at the end of August.

For more information on Steam Greenlight, check out the official Steam website.


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Comments


William Johnson
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What a great idea! I know a lot of developers complain about what an awkward affair it is to get on steam, this sounds like it'll reveal just a bit behind the curtain.

Also it sounds like a great promotional tool for indie developers too. I wonder if it'll be like a blog where people can discover works in progress and watch the development side as it unfolds.

E McNeill
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This sounds great, and I trust Valve to do it well. I just hope that it doesn't get swept up in internet drama (downvote brigades etc.) or pay-for-promotion schemes.

Robert Boyd
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Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of. This sounds awesome in theory but there's a lot of ways this could go horribly wrong.

Lars Doucet
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There's definitely some pitfalls to look out for, but if they learn from more experienced sites like Kongregate, et al, that have been doing this for years, they could avoid the worst of those.

The really terrible stuff you see on the App Store (pay-for-promotion schemes, etc) are mostly products of Apple's fundamentally broken app ranking system.

Christopher Enderle
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With iTunes, though, those pay schemes are just meant to increase the visibility of the game, right? Like get up into the top 10 list, to get visibility with people who aren't your hardcore followers. Greenlight just seems to be a way to cheaply gauge interest in games they wouldn't otherwise have time to consider carrying.

I don't really get why they emphasize that's it's not the total number of votes that count, but the relative number of votes a game gets to another. I mean, let's say every game went through this process. Would they seriously not carry Bioshock just because it doesn't get as many votes as Call of Duty? As long as they just use the relative number to stagger releases, perhaps that would be fine, but I would imagine that any game that passes a certain number of votes will eventually be available on Steam.

The "playable" and "concept" distinction seems a bit under-emphasized as well. I've seen plenty of developers lamenting how they haven't been able to get their completely-finished-available-commercially-elsewhere-even game on Steam, but Valve is still making these guys compete with people who only have "one level" (whatever a "level" is)? It seems like they should have three categories at least.

Kyle Redd
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I imagine downvoting will not be a part of this. It isn't valuable feedback in the first place (what non-malicious motive could a Steam user have for not wanting a game to appear on the service?), and as you've said, it would be too open to abuse.

Daneel Filimonov
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You have to remember though that Valve still gets the last say. So regardless of "downvote brigades" Valve can still publish a game they deem worthy as a product (despite attempts by trolls or internet groups to intentionally kill a possible release, or otherwise).

Lars Doucet
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Downvoting doesn't have to be the end of you on a well-designed system, either. We were part of a concentrated down-voting effort by haters on Kongregate and still managed to do fine.

Kale Menges
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Pretty cool.

Lars Doucet
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The prophecy has come true! :P
http://gamasutra.com/blogs/LarsDoucet/20120607/172033/The_Holy_Gr
ail_of_Digital_Distribution.php

Luis Guimaraes
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Yeah @#$*%@*#$%@*!!!!

Jeremy Reaban
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This is a somewhat spooky aspect of PC gaming these days - there are people who only buy games from Stream, not any other DD service.

Falk F
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I am looking forward to see how Valve handles their "final decisions" for which games get sold on Steam. I think some cool indie titles will get the attention they deserve through Greenlight.

Samuel Batista
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They fixed my biggest complaint with their service. I embrace my future gaming overlords with great enthusiasm.

Bradley Johnson
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GG, Valve. Looking forward to seeing how this treats indies.

Mitchell Burton
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We get to have a say in what ends up on Steam, developers get exposure, and Valve gets to shift some of the cost of the submission process onto the community. Win, win, win.

Richard Bang
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I'm sure that the concept section will be great for anyone who is short on ideas and has a team.

Gnoupi i
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It's a smart way to do it, in my opinion. The main complaint which was about Steam was the barrier to entry being sometimes failing, even for great indie games. This was most likely due to a small team dealing with new entries, facing a huge amount of games to validate or not.

Greenlight won't replace this final step, most likely. But it will help showing this team which games should be trusted/treated in priority, and gamers will be glad to vote and promote games they love (it's a game in itself, after all). I don't think it will increase the amount of games released, though, as it would be in the end detrimental to developers, with less time of exposure.

Chris McLeod
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Anything Valve does to help developers get on Steam sounds like a step in the right direction to me.


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