Last week, Valve announced that it would be killing off Steam Greenlight later this year and replacing it with a new service called Steam Direct. This would remove the ‘community' aspect of Greenlight and just allow developers to list their games on Steam after paying an application fee, which could end up alienating some small time developers. Fortunately, it looks like at least one games publisher wants to step in and help front the Steam Direct cost for smaller studios.
This week, Swedish publisher Raw Fury put out its own opinion on the Steam Direct proposal, which could cost developers anywhere between $100 to $5000 to get their game listed on Steam. In short, if the Direct fee ends up being in the thousands of dollar range, there will be games made by talented developers not making it to Steam.
In the event that an indie developer can't afford the Steam Direct application fee, Raw Fury has said that it will pay the fee for them without taking a stake in the game, though if a game is successful enough then they may want the application money back so that they can continue funding other developer applications.
It is a noble offer indeed but obviously, Raw Fury can only help so many studios, so there is a worry that the publisher will be overwhelmed by requests. On top of that, Valve hasn't worked out all the details for Steam Direct yet, so an offer like this may not end up being necessary at all.
KitGuru Says: The offer here is nice but realistically, one publisher wouldn't be able to front the application costs for every indie developer looking to get onto Steam. Still, hopefully this prompts some additional thought over at Valve when it comes to the Direct system. Perhaps application fees should be more flexible depending on the developer's situation, rather than having a blanket fee for everyone.