Steam Greenlight started off as a noble idea to help smaller developers get their games onto Steam by riling up community interest. Unfortunately, the service was quickly taken advantage of and led to more than a few awful games landing on Steam’s front page. As a result, Steam Greenlight will be going away later this year and will be replaced by a new system- Steam Direct.
Steam Direct will be a “direct sign-up system for developers”, allowing them to apply to get their games on Steam. The catch here though is that while Greenlight was free, an application fee will be in place for those going through the Steam Direct system. This fee is intended as a way to “decrease the noise in the submission pipeline” and weed out some of the worst Greenlight offenders.
Right now, a price has not been set for the Steam Direct application fee but Valve is in talks with developers to figure out a fair cost barrier. However, suggestions so far have been broad, with some opting for as low as $100 with others saying the fee should be as high as $5000. Valve hasn’t settled on a number yet but the company hopes that this will help improve “the entire pipeline” for bringing new content to Steam.
KitGuru Says: Valve has made it clear that it doesn’t want to curate the Steam Store itself. However, putting a cost barrier in the way should help reduce the number of awful games sneaking onto Steam, as well as the number of trading card scam titles. That said, setting the Steam Direct fee too high could discourage some well-intentioned indie developers, so Valve will need to try and strike a good balance here.