Steam Greenlight has been copping a fair bit of flak since it launched last week. We’ve seen all sorts of things go wrong with the system, designed for developers to pitch their game ideas directly to gamers, with the most popular going on to be hosted on Steam.
From day one, the service was plagued by pranksters uploading things that simply weren’t their new indie game. Half-Life 3 was entered a number of times, alongside Left 4 Dead 3 and a number of other ‘amusing’ titles. Then there were the people who decided to upload someone else’s great indie game, meaning the actual developer was unable to add their own work to the system. As well as all that, there was the (somewhat expected) tsunami of thoroughly inappropriate content, including one ‘game’ made up entirely of explicit pornographic video clips.
There have also been a significant number of legitimate games submitted, but so far, they’ve been somewhat lost amid the sea of crap.
Valve has decided to try something a little unusual, hoping it will stem the tide. After receiving well over 700 submissions in just a few days, the studio has implemented a new, once-off entry fee.
Starting now, developers must hand over a US$100 entry fee in order to post their game to Steam Greenlight. Importantly: This money is not going to Valve or anything associated directly with the Steam system, instead sent directly to Child’s Play, a gaming charity for sick kids.
The fee is only applied to an initial submission, effectively flagging your Steam account as a Greenlight developer.
While the amount is – predictably – ruffling a few feathers, many developers are happy to pay, while it provides a welcome stumbling block for the jokers.
Valve‘s Alden Kroll also explains that the team is working to better filter the Greenlight submissions you’re faced with on log-in, so you’re presented with games that you might be more interested in.
In the end, we’re very interested in maintaining an environment that is fair and beneficial to everyone involved, and one that fun and rewarding to join.
And, of course, we’re going to keep iterating on this system and updating as we learn more about how the community and developers want to utilize it.