Steam announced that they will be introducing Steam Direct which will charge developers $100 to publish their game. This is replacing the Steam Greenlight process which was somewhat of a popularity contest with developers promoting their content, creating exciting trailers for their games in order to get votes and eventually, Greenlit. Now developers will simply have to pay $100 to get their games published.
Valve claims that this is an attempt to weed out low-quality games and ensure game developers publishing on their platform are both serious and produce good quality work. It should be noted that the fee is $100 per game rather than a one-time publishing fee and it is recoupable.
Valve also claims that they will refund the $100 back to the developer if their game can hit $1000 in sales. At this time it’s not known when Valve will be rolling out this new program.
I’ve heard a bit of an uproar about this and there seem to be some angry people on the Twitter-sphere. I personally believe that if you can’t get $100 in funding for your game to be published, you probably have a bad game. Between itch.io, gamejolt, patreon and Twitch, you have a plethora of ways to raise money to publish your game on Steam. Not to mention sweet old Mom and Dad.
I do wonder about the claim of weeding out poor quality games. It seemed as if you needed to actually work hard to promote your game to have it greenlit. Now you pay a simple $100 and it’s on the platform. It almost seems like an avenue for lesser quality games to take.
With that being said, Valve is a business, Steam is their platform, they’re providing the service of the largest game catalog in the world and essentially the largest gaming platform for developers. They’re in the business of making money and this is a way that they can ensure their costs are covered. I don’t blame them for that and look forward to releasing any game I make on Steam.
What do you think about the Steam publishing fee? Agree or disagree? Do you see any problems with? Comment below or follow me on Twitter and discuss! Thanks for reading and have a great day.