Following up from its announcement last month, Valve has officially flipped the switch on the new Greenlight feature that will allow users to vote and comment on what games and content should be released on Steam. Developers can submit games, including concept work and early playable builds, for the community to start viewing and voting. A number of indie games are already available on Greenlight.
Submitting games is completely free but a non-limited Steam account is required (an account that owns at least one game). There are also a few guidelines developers must follow, like including a square branding image to represent the game on Greenlight lists and searches, at least one video demonstration and four screenshots, as well as a written description of the game and its expected system requirements.
Essentially, Valve's crowd-sourcing its submission and approval process, somewhat like Kickstarter but without pledging any money. “The community should be deciding what gets released. After all, it’s the community that will ultimately be the ones deciding which release they spend their money on,” reads their FAQ.
By involving players in the process, Greenlight enables lesser-known developers to promote their games in the popular platform while also giving the community some voting power on what gets released and what doesn’t.
Of course, there’s some human intervention from Valve as well. The company says the specific number of votes a game receives doesn't matter as much to get approval as relative interest in it compared with other games in Steam Greenlight. Valve will be reaching out to developers as their games start getting traction regardless of whether they have achieved a specific number of votes.