Valve says goodbye to Steam Greenlight, hello to “Direct” publishing – Ars Technica

Nearly five years after Steam Greenlight was first announced, Valve said today it is doing away with the controversial system that let users vote on which games they thought should be sold on the popular PC digital distribution service. The service will be replaced with something called Steam Direct, providing developers with more straightforward access to the platform for an unknown fee. Direct will launch in the spring.

Greenlight was Valve’s first attempt to significantly open the Steam store beyond its original tightly curated list of games selected by a small group of Valve staffers. Valve says it considers that effort a qualified success, which has led to over 100 Greenlight games that have grossed at least $1 million on the platform. “Many of those would likely not have been published in the old, heavily curated Steam store,” the company notes in its press release.

That said, Valve now sees Greenlight as “the largest remaining obstacle” to developers having a direct path to the Steam audience. “Our goal is to provide developers and publishers with a more direct publishing path and ultimately connect gamers with even more great content.”

To that end, the upcoming Steam Direct system will simply require new developers to provide some company paperwork and tax details (“similar to the process of applying for a bank account”) before distributing games on Steam. Each title submitted through Direct will require “a recoupable application fee… which is intended to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline.” Valve says it hasn’t settled on a precise amount for that application fee and that developer responses have suggested anywhere from $100 to $5,000 might be plausible.

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