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.

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