Behind Valve's Greenlight and Early Access programs: bad games, minimum transparency

By Jos
Mar 24, 2016
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  1. These days, it seems like Valve will let just about anything on Steam. Programs like Greenlight and Early Access make it easier than ever to get a game on the preposterously popular PC storefront. Some of these games are very bad. How does this happen? What is the process actually like?

    Most developers have to get on Steam through Greenlight, which, in theory at least, lets good games make it to Steam through user votes. It’s also the least consistent way of getting a game on the service. Greenlight allows developers to create Steam store page-like listings for their games that can include a trailer, screenshots, a game description, comments, and a discussion section.

    Valve doesn’t have the time or manpower to hand-select every game that gets onto Steam. The goal of Greenlight is to crowdsource that process. The hope is that a game will get enough votes to make it into the top 100, where most games have a pretty realistic shot of getting welcomed into Steam’s gated community.

    Read the complete article.

  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,535   +288

    Steam's Game Selection Wizards' Cabal meets every fifth Tuesday when there is a full moon. At this time, they consult the entrails and vote (using darts and targets) with selections announced as soon as somebody remembers to do that.

    It's nice to have a little mystery in life.

    Nice article!
    Uncle Al likes this.
  3. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,600   +411

    Steam isn't the only ones to blame for this. There are some shady devs out there deleting comments, asset flipping, releasing unfinished and buggy games while trying to charge triple A prices.

    I'm still amazed at how the gaming industry continues to get away with what they do, and how they treat their customers. It's because of them that I stopped pre-ordering.
    DjKraid and Uncle Al like this.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,519   +677

    Well, having a $100 entry fee certainly doesn't do much for keeping out bad games, especially when you consider the potential earning power of a good or just decent game. The actual fee needs to be much higher, say $10,000 with provisions that the fee will be refunded through attrition, say at the rate of $1 per game sold and downloaded. In the long run it will help and will also prevent those companies that are poorly funded from taking advantage of the buyers ... or at least slow them down. Steam would have some insurance against games that simply flop and a bit more assurance of the game continued sales and eventually profitability for themselves as well as the producer. It would also give the buying public a better assurance of getting a higher quality product.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    I think they need a ratings system to categorize the quality of the game. I'd love to see a mind teaser rating in an RPG.

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