Valve announced today that Steam Greenlight is officially being closed today. Its successor, Steam Direct, is set to launch on June 13th. As of this writing, Valve has already stopped accepting Greenlight submissions and “suspended” voting. The message in the image above is now shown when you attempt to visit Greenlight.
In the announcement, Valve discusses some of the reasons for why Greenlight came to be and why it is retiring the system. In short, Greenlight was created as a way for gamers to have a say in what was published on Steam; prior to its existence, a small team of Valve employees personally selected all of the games that were published on Steam and, over time, they began to believe that their opinions of what should be on Steam were not representative of the larger Steam community’s, thus the creation of Steam Greenlight. However, Valve now believes that a more “direct and predictable submission process will best serve the diverse interests of players moving forward,” as, even now, there are “surprising smash hits” regularly showing up on Steam, having successfully made it through the Greenlight process.
Steam Direct was also explained in more detail. Once it launches on June 13th, developers will simply be required to “fill out some digital paperwork” and pay a $100 fee. If Valve hasn’t worked with them before, they will need to wait 30 days while Valve reviews their information and “[confirms] that they know who [they’re] doing business with.” Developers will also be required to put up “a ‘coming soon’ page” for several weeks before release, so as to allow more users to see their games prior to release and “point out discrepancies” that Valve may not catch. Once their game has been published and it has made a total of $1000 in revenue, Valve will return the $100 fee.
You can find the full announcement here.
This truly is the end of an era, one that I’m rather happy to see go due to the nature of Greenlight. That being said, I’m also not entirely sure how I feel about the new era that is about to arrive. We’re likely about to see a completely new version of Steam, one in which more games get through and users are required more than ever to vote with their wallets and submit users reviews in order to help others sift through the many games that will end up on the platform. It remains to be seen how it will work out, but it won’t be long until we find out.