We’re fans of the Steam platform here on Tap. Yesterday saw the launch of its new system for submitting and discovering indie games: Greenlight. Being a fan of both indies, and of Steam itself, I figured I’d check it out. Here, generally, is how it works: developers submit a game to Greenlight, including sample screenshots, promo videos, and whatever else they have handy. Then the community votes on which games they’d like to see end up on Steam.
So far, great idea, but there are a few problems that I can see…
1. Too many games. This is a problem in my life in general. Way too many games are on Steam already, and this is more games. I am overwhelmed. I will never be able to play all the games.
2. Connected to that, is the problem of “discoverability,” well-documented in this Gamasutra article. How do you find the best games from this cross-section? Especially if anyone can submit anything, and some things submitted may not even be close to done games, or games the submitter has the rights to submit.
3. …Which leads to a third problem, which is “people not getting it.” The idea is to submit a game you’re developing, but since only people savvy to indie games even get this, people just submit games they don’t own, but “want on Steam.” Unfortunately Valve may have just overestimated the intelligence of its userbase here. Valve seems to be hammering down these violations fast, but they still keep popping up and cluttering the works.
All that being said, I know I’m gonna pour myself an amaretto sour tonight, dive in, and get to the upvoting. What are your thoughts? The future of indie on Steam? Terrible idea to start with? Something in between?
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