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PC developers... Steam Pulling plug from Greenlight? Fact and Fiction


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#1 RalemProductions   Members   -  Reputation: 201

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:31 PM

Hey community,

I've been searching the internet for substantial articles regarding steams "turning off" of the Greenlight programme. 

Is this correct?

If this is true, (which I may add, seems to be hearsay,) what other distribution portals do you think would be lucrative? GOG.com? Direct Sales?

Anyone have any success stories or any ideas?


Thanks

Josh Barton

Producer, Ralem Productions

joshtrance@ralemproductions.com



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#2 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31959

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:48 PM

Steam was initially like any other publisher -- you get in touch, you pitch a product and maybe the two of you sign a publishing deal.

 

They got too popular for that, so they created Greenlight. You pitch to the community via greenlight, if you're popular enough, they get in touch and maybe the two of you sign a publishing deal.

 

They don't think that Greenlight is the best solution though. So, they want to change things so that eventually anyone can sell their game on Steam without requiring any approval or oversight, without going through any kind of Greenlighting process or having to negotiate any publishing deals.

They're taking their time figuring out how to do this though.



#3 RalemProductions   Members   -  Reputation: 201

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:16 PM

Good point. We are looking to publish on Greenlight, but it may not be the best. Should an indie dev bother putting up $100 to go on the forums as it lasts, or would it be bad press to "not get greenlit?"



#4 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19425

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:29 PM


Is this correct?

Very probably.  You're having trouble finding an authoritative article on the issue because there hasn't been any official announcement yet and no date or official plans have been announced.  What we have heard (as early as last year in fact: source 1, source 2) is that removing Greenlight is something the company want to do.  It just so happens that this has been re-stated recently in a somewhat more formal setting (see this article), which has caused something of a "Greenlight is dying" rumour to spread.

 

 

So, it's likely that Hodgman is correct -- Steam isn't going anywhere, they just want a different approval process rather than Greenlight.  This also isn't likely to happen suddenly particularly soon -- they'll be careful about what they do, and they'll probably announce it in advance when they have a more specific idea of what they're doing.

 

 

or would it be bad press to "not get greenlit?"

Not at all, you would simply have to try again at another time.

 

 


If this is true, (which I may add, seems to be hearsay,) what other distribution portals do you think would be lucrative?

Obviously Steam is still an option -- it just may or may not still involve Greenlight by the time you're ready to release.

 

You could also try Desura.

 

Direct sales can certainly also work -- here's what Positech's Cliff Harris has to say about it.

 

 

Hope that's helpful! smile.png



#5 ambershee   Members   -  Reputation: 528

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 04:03 AM


They don't think that Greenlight is the best solution though. So, they want to change things so that eventually anyone can sell their game on Steam without requiring any approval or oversight, without going through any kind of Greenlighting process or having to negotiate any publishing deals.

They're taking their time figuring out how to do this though.

 

They're already doing it; which is why the storefront has now been inundated with a vast quantity of sub-par games; mostly games that got review scores of 5/10 (or less) and flopped 10+ years ago, and particularly poor home made entries that could have been made in GameMaker in a weekend are now finding their way into the store thanks to opening up the system to a number of small scale publishers.

 

Greenlight's user-based curation actually worked better in that regard. I find the Steam storefront a frustrating mess at present.



#6 VildNinja   Members   -  Reputation: 464

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 04:35 AM

Good point. We are looking to publish on Greenlight, but it may not be the best. Should an indie dev bother putting up $100 to go on the forums as it lasts, or would it be bad press to "not get greenlit?"

Greenlight is a good source for pr thing at the moment. It is good to have an official page for the game on Steam. And even if they decide to open the gates completely I can in no way possibly imagine that this will happen for a fee lower than $100. Keep in mind that the fee for the app store is $100 a year. For google play it is only $25 as a one time payment.

 

Pretty much no matter what the $100 will not be wasted - valve are not the kind of people I would imagine "stealing" from poor indies smile.png

 

 

Also Rami from Vlambeer was interviewed about this:

 

Edit: Greenlight is not a source for pr, but having an official link where people can actively express that they care about the project IS a good idea.


Edited by VildNinja, 26 March 2014 - 04:38 AM.


#7 Mouser9169   Members   -  Reputation: 401

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 09:26 AM

Whatever they do, they need to have an upfront cost to keep the rabble out. I'm working on a game I hope to sell using RPG Maker Ace (yes, people can and do make their living selling games made with that - though I'm drooling at the mouth over Epic's new license...). Right now though, there's still such a negative sentiment toward the engine on the Steam boards from the absolute flood of crap that people submitted when Greenlight was free that it's hard to get players past the stigma to actually open their mind and play your game.

 

With Big Fish Games seeming to be turning away from RPG's (and just about anything non HOPA these days) Steam is becoming the major distributor in play. There are other, smaller portals to sell from, and loads of reasons to sell their first (building up a fan base and more revenue per unit sold being the chief two).


"The multitudes see death as tragic. If this were true, so then would be birth"

- Pisha, Vampire the Maquerade: Bloodlines


#8 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 21183

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:46 PM

I'm guessing the general direction Valve is wanting to take Steam, is to have people use a Steam "widget" on their own websites to sell their games directly to users, but with users having a central game "library" things get added to.
The Humble Indie Bundle is already going this route: Overgrowth: Alpha preorder page (notice the widget is a Humble Bundle widget that the actual sale goes through, and the game gets added to your Humble Bundle library).
 
I like Steam being curated (and currently, the Greenlight stuff feels less and less curated), because then if my (in-development) game stands out as *higher quality*, being on Steam can get me sales and publicity. But if tons of stuff is on Steam, regardless of quality, then it just becomes as crowded as the smartphone app stores.
You always have to do marketing, but it was previously motivating to know that even just getting on Steam was a guarantee of some level of success.

It's becoming more and more a race-to-the-bottom of pricing (like the app stores), and overcrowded clutter of cheap games with the real gems buried underneath. This is beneficial for stores and publishers (Valve, app stores, consoles), but not for developers. It benefits consumers by very low prices, but also makes it harder to hear about good games unless they get major media attention.

This is still much better than things were ten years ago, but it'd be worse than things were even just three years ago, IMO.
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