There was much debate over the past few months when Valve first announced they were changing the previous game submission system called Steam Greenlight, to a new system they are calling Steam Direct. The main question on my mind was how much the fee was going to be to submit a game to Steam.
Under the old Steam Greenlight system, there was a one-time $100 USD fee per account, and from there you could submit as many games as you had made. The main difficulty with Greenlight however was that a game relied on getting a sufficient number of positive votes from users who engaged with the Greenlight voting system before it was allowed a shot at appearing on Steam.
What that sometimes meant was that your game you submitted could be stuck waiting for user votes that never came along. Greenlight “limbo” if you will. Also a few less-than-scrupulous developers had reportedly been abusing the system to get their game on Steam, even if it did not reflect what the actual Greenlight community had an interest in playing.
Now under the new Steam Direct, Valve said that the voting system from Greenlight was being done away with, and like its name suggests, developers are able to pay a fee to get their game on the Steam platform directly. However the fee is no longer going to be account based, but rather submission based per game.
When they originally announced this earlier in the year, Valve said they were considering fees anywhere from $100 to $5000 per game submission. Steam Direct was thus a cause for much discussion, especially debating a reasonable fee to be charging developers for each game they submitted to the platform.
Today Valve announced that they will be charging the minimum fee that they were originally looking at: $100 per game submission.
As an aspiring indie game developer myself, and I’m sure I can speak for a lot of other indie developers out there too, this news comes as a welcome relief. Had the price been set too high, it would have meant that smaller groups or single person dev teams might not have been able to afford to get their game on the Steam platform. Since they decided to go with the lowest fee of $100 per game, this makes it more accessible to more developers. That’s great news for developers on a budget, and in my opinion this is in Valve’s best interest to do too. It makes it so they don’t drive away or shut out any potential developers from bringing their games to Steam.
The Steam Direct service will be launching on June 13th.