Earlier this year, Valve announced plans to eliminate Steam Greenlight in favor of a new method of allowing games onto the platform. Now, it’s shared more details about how that will work, as well as the enhanced role that Steam Curators will play.
One of the most contentious aspects of what Valve laid out in February was how the new approval process, Steam Direct, would involve a submission fee. Valve said at the time that it was considering a range of $100 to as much as $5,000. Although this can be recouped, the high end of that in particular would have been a major roadblock for many smaller developers.
Recognizing that, Valve has decided the fee will be just $100 per game submitted to Steam, as opposed to the $500 it apparently had been considering. Valve said in a post on Steam today that this “gives every game developer a chance to get their game in front of players.” $100 is the current one-time fee for submitting games through Greenlight.
By removing the Greenlight approval process, it seems probable that the number of Steam releases–which has been exploding in recent years–will only rise further. As such, Valve intends to continue updating Steam in the hopes of presenting customers with games they’re likely to be interested in. Part of that will entail “look[ing] for specific places where human eyes can be injected into the Store algorithm, to ensure that it is working as intended, and to ensure it doesn’t miss something interesting.”
“We believe that if we inject human thinking into the Store algorithm, while at the same time increasing the transparency of its output, we’ll have created a public process that will incrementally drive the Store to better serve everyone using it,” Valve’s post continued.
This will involve improving the tools for Steam Curators. With the Steam Direct update, they’ll be able to create specific lists of recommended games and share videos they’ve created. Their recommendations will also be featured more prominently in Steam, which Valve said it’s willing to do because users still have to opt in to a Curator’s suggestions in the first place.
A release date for Steam Direct has not yet been announced; it was previously said to be coming sometime this spring, which ends in a few weeks. Valve said today that one more blog post on the subject is coming, which will both share a launch date and explain how Greenlight’s shutdown will be handled.