3 alternatives solutions to Steam Direct
Recently, Valve has announced they want to replace Greenlight. Instead of asking for votes, they’ll make the developers pay a fixed fee to be on the platform. It’s called Steam Direct and they’re getting feedbacks on the subject.
I love the subject of Steam Direct and would love to push forward the discussion. What if we spoke about some alternatives that Valve could think of? I’ll try to sum up some of those ideas, that are not mine, but could benefit from a compilation.
A. Funding the Steam access.
Basically, it means that people need to pre order the game through a specific interface. You want this game on Steam? Then preorder it! The good thing is that people don’t have a free vote, they need to approve the game with their wallet. It’s easy to click a “yes” button, but when it comes to the wallet it’s harder.
Yet, it will put a lot of emphasis on games that are easy to market. Some games are hard to explain and showcase. Also, there are a lot of problems with Kickstarter, Early Access, so this platform could be complicated. What about refunds? What about games who fail to release a final version?
B. 2 Publishing tiers.
The idea is that Steam doesn’t want the platform to be too crowded, and some low quality games done in a week are on the same level as AAA. So there’d be two tiers.
First one is 100$. You can publish on Steam, but you don’t appear in the search engine. You don’t appear on the home page. You have to do all your marketing “naturally” and push the game through the social networks. You don’t have the Steam metagame (cards, badges, forums, etc).
Second one is 5000$. You have a bigger budget and can now be a real Steam game. You can participate in the Steam metagame. You’ll be featured in the home, you have cards and the whole package we have right now.
This solution is good, because it means that you can go from First tier to Second one. But it means that some game dev who have low views will still have lower views than the big one. It doesn’t shock me, Steam is not your friend, it’s just a distribution platform.
C. Committees of gamers and game developers.
Like groups, people will be able to create committees. It’s like having big groups of judges. The judges can be random active players combined with actual game developers who already published on Steam. Imagine you take 50 players who have been on Steam daily for the last 6 months. Then you take 50 game developers account who already published a game on Steam. You have 100 people that should be active. You now make 100 groups like that to review entries on the Greenlight. It will help Steam with the automation and provide even more community engagement. Hopefully, the judge identities for a game is hidden so you can’t bribe them. Yet it’s not that much different than Greenlight so this change might be too small. Also, what happened if you’re denied entry? Can you submit a game again 6 months later? And what about games that made a bad buzz such as Hatred? Can they be denied entry by random people?
Which solution is your favorite? Steam Direct? Steam access funding? Publishing tiers? Committees? If you have other solutions in mind, feel free to add them in the comments!