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Steam Greenlight: Big boost for indies, or popularity contest? Exclusive
Steam Greenlight: Big boost for indies, or popularity contest?
September 5, 2012 | By Staff

September 5, 2012 | By Staff
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    5 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing, Exclusive



"Greenlight is scary as hell. Great games not getting the attention they should is always a problem, and asking the crowd what's good usually results in 'that thing everyone else likes'!"
- Colin Northway, the developer behind Incredipede.

While Colin Northway is using Steam Greenlight for Incredipede, he's concerned that the service may devolve into a popularity contest which only hurts developers who aren't aiming for me-too games.

"The skills required to make good games are very different from the skills required to dominate a 'vote for my game' contest, so I'm worried good games will be lost in the shuffle," he notes.

"On the other hand, look at how many games are on Greenlight. That's how many games Valve used to get in its inbox every day. So in a choice between 'lost in the shuffle' and 'I don't have time to even open the email containing your trailer', I guess I'll take Greenlight," says Northway.

His quotes come from a new Gamasutra feature -- Steam Greenlight: Developers Speak Out -- in which a host of indies share their thoughts on the newly-debuted service. It's live now on Gamasutra.


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Comments


David Amador
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"The skills required to make good games are very different from the skills required to dominate a 'vote for my game' contest, so I'm worried good games will be lost in the shuffle,"
This sums it all

Tom Baird
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But in that way, Greenlight is prepping you for the Steam store itself.

If you can't win the popularity contest among Indies, how are you going to fare once your game is displayed next to the AAA titles on the Steam front page?

Edit:
On the bright side for Incredipede, considering the number of screens and videos I've seen for it since Greenlight started (and none before that, since a prototype-quality video on IndieGames a long while back), he seems to be currently high up in the popularity contest, and Greenlight is giving him some pretty heavy exposure.

Jesus Alonso Abad
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Um, but isn't the traditional selection method still active? I mean, if a game is good enough to be on Steam, shouldn't Valve's evaluators pick it even if it didn't get the attention it deserved in Greenlight? I admit their chances may lower, but there's still a window of opportunity other than Greenlight. As I understand GL, it's just a way to leverage a bit of weight off of the evaluators' shoulders.

Maria Jayne
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It's worth remembering, even if another game is more popular/fashionable than yours it will eventualy be put on steam and thus it's popularity will vanish from the voting. Presumably, once a game is accepted it will stop being listed on greenlight, meaning as long as your game does get votes it will rise, it just may take longer.

There is also the painful truth that if your game doesn't get enough interest it may actually be because people are just not interested in it, while it's reasonable to look at every possible cause, sometimes games are just not that appealing.

Nuttachai Tipprasert
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But, isn't popularity make your games sell? How do you expect to sell your games without popularity?


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