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Planned Replacement of Steam Greenlight

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It looks like there's going to be a bit more oversight into getting a game onto Steam. Good on Valve for doing their job.


The one line that brings me skepticism is that they're considering having "a recoupable application fee" ranging anywhere from $100-5000 (they've yet to decide). Besides the big question of what indie dev has 5k sitting around, I want to know what they mean by recoupable. Do the devs get it back from Valve directly? Would there be stipulations regarding the game's success for that? Are devs just going to get a larger portion of the game's early sales to make up for it?

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I saw Jim Sterling's video on this subject and I agree with you Glue Man. The projected price range (even if there is a system of reimbursement in place) may prove a hurdle too high for many one-man bedroom developers whose hearts are in the right place. I'm also too much of a pessimist to truly believe that a higher fee will even prevent the most committed asset-flippers and "lol memez"-cretins from still sinking all of their parents money via their own deluded and enigmatically motivated urge to release seemingly intentionally awful games.

When close friends speak ill of close friends

they pass their abuse from ear to ear

in dying whispers -

even now, when prayers are no longer prayed.

What sounds like violent coughing

turns out to be laughter.

Shuntarō Tanikawa

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This is old figure from a few years back, but I heard that less than 25% of all Greenlight games were at a state of completion after 2-3 years of them being launched. That's hundreds of titles, and barely a quarter of them were finished after a decent time of operation.


The problems with Greenlight, in its current form, as I see it, is that its really easy for anyone to make whatever game they want and try and push it through, but they have very little incentive to keep going with it for whatever reason beyond their own individual drive. If a dev gets bored, or feels that they've already made a shitload of money just off of a concept or an early alpha, why would they necessarily feel any desire to finish the product? One would hope they would, but as is evident, that is not the case as lots of so called Indie devs seem to just be content to pitch a concept, make some fast money, and then move on to something else.


The exceptions to the rule stick in peoples' minds as those who are actually serious about the whole deal, they have integrity and listen to the community. But the stats seem to show that they are the exceptions, not the rule.


That's not even taking into account the number of copycats who literally will just buy a dev kit of some kind with assets they haven't made, or hell, haven't done much with it at all, they literally just took the dev kit and basically just sold one of its basic states as a whole game on Greenlight (Jim covered this himself with some people who literally 8 different people tried to sell the exact same game through Greenlight, 8 different names, all exactly the same). Are those people still "Indie Devs"?


Then there is the problem of over-saturation of the Indie Market. Totalbiscuit talked about this a while ago, how even if an Indie game is good, the majority of people will never see it or be unwilling to buy it simply because of how much competition there is for storefront space on Steam. Indies compete with AAAs and Indies amongst themselves. Because of this, lots of Indie Devs crash and burn for no other reason than there's simply too many of them competing for the same dollars and there isn't enough money to go around, even if their ideas are good.


Combine that with the fact that more than a few people have been screwed on purchases made out of greenlight, it leads to distrust and more cautious buyers that only makes the situation worse.


I do think Steam needs some kind of regulation over the Indie Community just so that the whole thing doesn't stagnate, and to separate out who is serious versus who is not. I don't believe outright content regulation is the best since Steam has already shown that they suck at that and don't want to do that, but this application fee idea sounds like it could be the thing that could work towards the goal.


You're separating out those who are serious about the whole thing versus those who aren't with a fee like this. Lots of other industries with Indie Markets you need that kind of money just to get into to begin with. Film is like that (though its not a fee, you often need thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars now just to make decent quality films to get the equipment alone, even short Indie Ones). Indies Games development has been fairly spoiled in that up until now you haven't really needed all that much money to try and make a career out of it by getting your own dev kits, which cost nowhere near as much as stuff for other Indie entertainment industries.


IDK, sure you're going to get the serious scammers as well, but IMO the principle of the idea is not bad to help make the early access system better. If done correctly, of course.

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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