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Steam Greenlights 100 new titles -- but is the system working?

Steam Greenlights 100 new titles -- but is the system working?

August 28, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

Valve has approved a staggering new batch of 100 Steam Greenlight titles, including Paranautical Activity, Escape Goat and -- interestingly -- Precursor's Shadow of the Eternals, which recently failed to reach its target on a second Kickstarter.

The entire roster of titles blends some recognizable hits from other platforms with a few total unknowns, and represents the largest single batch of Greenlit titles to date. Mixed in with the list of games are a few software selections as well, including MovieWriterPro.

However, even among the game selections some of the titles are plainly in varying states of development (and some, such as Shadow of the Eternals, may not see release at all) so it's a little too soon to expect all of these will make it to the Steam platform in the near future.

Several developers have previously expressed their disappointment in the Greenlight service, saying it produces the wrong atmosphere to promote the most worthy titles in its system.

"Valve's been playing around with some elements of Greenlight since it launched... but they still haven't addressed the one core aspect of Greenlight that makes it a piece of shit: its competitive nature," says I Get This Call Every Day developer David Gallant, who recently blogged on Gamasutra explaining why he pulled his game from Greenlight. "Games are ranked by vote numbers. One game getting more votes knocks every other game behind it back in the ranking. It is incredibly demoralizing for developers, hurts camaraderie among developers, and helps sustain the false notion that these rankings actually matter."

Gallant cites Stegersaurus Games's Mount Your Friends, ranked 76th on Greenlight before today's announcement, which was nevertheless not included in today's 100 approved titles. He notes Valve considers other factors including festival awards and press coverage to evaluate a game -- but if so, he asks, why isn't this a specified field for entry submission?

"I wish I could suggest changes. Honestly, I don't know how I'd craft an alternative system to Greenlight if I were in Valve's shoes," Gallant tells Gamasutra. "But I do know that their current system still sucks."

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