Gabe Newell: "Our Goal Is To Make Greenlight Go Away"

Gabe Newell: "Our Goal Is To Make Greenlight Go Away"

Gabe Newell

Gabe Newell says Steam Greenlight has been useful but he doesn't want to keep it around forever.

Steam Greenlight has been the kind of mess that only Valve can make: inherently flawed and yet wildly successful. Making the cut on Greenlight has become a priority goal for virtually every indie developer in the PC game, yet Greenlight itself is the subject of complaints from all corners, at least in part because its actual workings remain a dark and arcane mystery.

Like it or not, it's become a very big part of how Steam works, yet Valve Archduke Gabe Newell made it clear during his address at Steam Dev Days that it's not going to be around forever. "Our goal is to make Greenlight go away," he said. "Not because it's not useful, but because we're evolving."

Evolving into what, exactly, remains to be seen, but the great and frequent waves of games getting approval suggests that perhaps the system has succeeded a little too well. It's also possible that Steam's apparently-runaway growth is making Greenlight too unwieldy to be practical: Valve announced today that the number of active Steam accounts increased by 15 percent over the final three months of 2013, from 65 million to 75 million, and while more than 80 percent of Steam revenues for the year were split virtually evenly between North America and Europe, both Russia and Brazil showed very strong year-over-year growth of 128 percent and 75 percent respectively.

Source: Twitter (Dave Oshry)

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The article says Gabe Newell but the tweet is from a Dave Oshry. Is that an alias of Newell I was unaware of, or is there some context that makes it clear he's quoting Gaben? Or is the article just a mistake?

Falterfire:
The article says Gabe Newell but the tweet is from a Dave Oshry. Is that an alias of Newell I was unaware of, or is there some context that makes it clear he's quoting Gaben? Or is the article just a mistake?

His previous tweet just before that:

Gabe talking about how he wants us to take control of content on Steam. Take control of the store & how we promote our games. #SteamDevDays

I wis when they say things like this they describe what the hell they are doing. I like valve but I wish they would not leave people in the dark after making a pretty big statement like that.

Honestly....I'm okay with that. There has been such a flood of crap on greenlight that something needs to be done.

Must we refer to Mr. Newell as an "Archduke" in the year 2014? I mean, it was 100 years ago that some Archduke or another was assassinated.

Something to do with some little kerfuffle over in Europe, as I recall ...

Way too much indie junk on greenlight lately. Agreed. I'm ready for something else.

The great Indy invasion of the last year or two has been really good for gaming, particularly for PC gaming, but we need something to whittle down the number of titles to something that is palatable. Right now, it's almost impossible to find that diamond amongst all the coal. It almost reminds me of looking at Atari 2600 titles circa 1982 (or, more recently, the glut of PS1 games in 1996).

If only he had the power to take control of Steam.

Why not just kill greenlight here and now and only release a slew of games on early access that are at least into Beta so we don't end up with half dead games or games in Alpha that span 2 years alone.

The problem with GL is that, while initially, many people browsed this section and voted on the games - now hardly anyone does. Which makes it easier for crappy games to get through. And generally, flooding the Steam store with mediocre or bad indie games, will lead to market saturation and will hit the games which are actually good.

Another thing is the slew of early access games. Creators of these games seem to be under the impression that not only are they getting money for alpha-quality games but also - free testers (that paid for their future jobs). I guess it's ok when we're talking about some 5$ title from a 2-men dev team that can't afford actual testers, but when major studios are joining in on this "fun" - srsly, stop, now.

That was vague, but I won't be sad to see Greenlight get flushed, for reasons mentioned several times already.
I just wish they had more specific information and the lack of that makes me suspect that it'll be an internal process of elimination or something similarly unspectacular that they're talking about.

Gabe Newell: Our goal is to make Greenlight go away. That is why we have devised a time machine in order to go back in time and prevent ourselves from creating it in the first place. Now, stand back - when this baby hits 88 mph, you're going to see some serious shit.

especially this _premium priced_ "early access alpha shit" musst go away.

So I'm going to guess that 'evolve' means:

-Do away with shitty games that clutter up greenlight that nobody is actually going to buy
-Clean up those and other shitty games that enter into early access
-Make it that legitimately good games will be purchased and praised and that these shit games I have been mentioning so far are able to be properly outed as shit and not have their money wasted on by consumers

the7ofswords:
Must we refer to Mr. Newell as an "Archduke" in the year 2014? I mean, it was 100 years ago that some Archduke or another was assassinated.

Something to do with some little kerfuffle over in Europe, as I recall ...

Its all right as long as Gabe doesn't go to Sarajevo and he rescinds all vac bans on Serbs.

I think a lot of Greenlight's entries would "go away" if a mobile game market opened up through Steam, partially negating the gap between iTunes and Google Play. Most of them started on mobile devices, and I have a feeling that many of those will be happy enough if Steam got into the market.

Dark Knifer:
I wis when they say things like this they describe what the hell they are doing. I like valve but I wish they would not leave people in the dark after making a pretty big statement like that.

They've stated several times since Greenlight came out that they want the store to become more community curated rather than relying on them to approve games for sale. That might have been clearer were this story reporting on actual news which has been known for months now rather than a tweet throwing out a comment second hand. This really is old news at this point, and it lacks detail that was released quite some time ago.

Ahh-who-wha-noooooooo D:
image
But I wanted 1,000+ uninspired and unoriginal Minecraft clones clogging up my library!

Think of the blocks!

THE BLOCKS, GABEN!
Good fucking riddance. I can only come up with a handful of good greenlight games, and even with the $100 entry free, it still doesn't stop the shit from getting in.

Massive revenue growth in BRICs is evidence of Steam's massive success: brazil and russia are both places where game sales are widely considered untenable due to systemic piracy.

Its evidence that it really is a service issue. Steam provides a better service than the pirate bay, when it comes to PC gaming.

"Evolving into what, exactly, remains to be seen, but the great and frequent waves of games getting approval suggests that perhaps the system has succeeded a little too well."

I don't see the problem.

Games that deserve to be sold through Steam are clearly meeting Valves criteria that they stipulated with Greenlight. That's what they wanted it to do.

Crap games on Greenlight?
Doesn't matter, there's tonnes of crap that still sells.

A million Minecraft and DayZ clones?
Doesn't matter they still sell.

Some games aren't guaranteed sales even after success on Greenlight?
Doesn't matter because that's still exactly what happens to the traditionally curated games.

But Early Access crap!
Sorry that's not actually related to Greenlight.

On the one hand I'm glad that I'll be seeing the end of the junk and copy-cat tiles that plague the Greenlight community, but on the other it's really unfortunate for all of the hard-working and dedicated indie devs who actually use the feature seriously and put out good and meaningful titles. Hopefully the new mystery system will still allow them to flourish.

Kyogissun:
So I'm going to guess that 'evolve' means:

-Do away with shitty games that clutter up greenlight that nobody is actually going to buy
-Clean up those and other shitty games that enter into early access
-Make it that legitimately good games will be purchased and praised and that these shit games I have been mentioning so far are able to be properly outed as shit and not have their money wasted on by consumers

Three points? I think you're asking too much from Valve.

Well, I have mixed opinions. The distribution platform and "greenlight" system has lead to a massive rush of creativity and interest in PC gaming, something which was almost dead a few years ago (but was never going to go away entirely). Yes it generated a giant tidal wave of crap, but it also helped more than a few gems get made and distributed, and I think even the crap had a number of good ideas in it that will in the long run have a positive effect by inspiring those that can at least see what the devs on it were trying to do, where it went wrong, etc...

On a lot of levels I think the problem is that Valve realizes that something like Greenlight requires a full time team of managers and reviewers from their end, which is kind of contrary to the Valve management philosophy, where they by and large do not bring people in to do one specific job full time, and only that job. Not to mention some serious communication errors that have happened just in the last few months. Apparently when "Marvel Heroes Online" (by Gazillion) went on STEAM some of the international customers were able to purchase the "complete pack" of all game content for $1 when it's normally supposed to be like $200. Another fairly recent one was from "Kings Bounty: Legions" where they sold a DLC pack that was supposed to go for $34.99 for $4.99 (I actually bought that one without realizing it to give the online version a shot)... and this is with bigger companies, it seems a lot of FTP games wind up coming in through the "greenlight" system for whatever reason since I'm pretty sure I saw a lot of them mentioned there (which is why I point this out).

It also occurs to me that now that Valve is gigantic, it more or less wants to start moving into something more akin to the console market, trying to create a console/PC hybrid with the benefits of both and drawbacks of neither (which I don't think can be done, but they are trying). As Valve gets bigger, I think they are becoming less interested in helping the little guy, or even in their fans... it's just been a slow process. They seem to be thinking more like a big business in both these comments about greenlight, and their console move... which to be fair is what they are (a big business) it's just they were popular for not entirely acting like one.

Shadow-Phoenix:
Why not just kill greenlight here and now and only release a slew of games on early access that are at least into Beta so we don't end up with half dead games or games in Alpha that span 2 years alone.

The problem is that people have already payed the entry fee. Simply saying "this doesn't work" and shut it down would piss off a lot of people. Getting rid of it will take some work from Valve.

Alarien:
Way too much indie junk on greenlight lately. Agreed. I'm ready for something else.

The great Indy invasion of the last year or two has been really good for gaming, particularly for PC gaming, but we need something to whittle down the number of titles to something that is palatable. Right now, it's almost impossible to find that diamond amongst all the coal. It almost reminds me of looking at Atari 2600 titles circa 1982 (or, more recently, the glut of PS1 games in 1996).

I agree completely here. I tried out Greenlight when it first started, found a few games I thought looked interesting and voted for them. Then I waited... None of the games I rememberd voting for ever seemed to make it to Steam then all of a sudden 100 games approved and added to Steam at once making it impossible to sort through them and most of them weren't that interesting.

The only good thing I can say about Greenlight is that it reminds us that indie isn't always more inspired than the AAA scene.

Well... I don't mind if it does. I haven't used it but the general opinion of that service seems to be mostly negative.

I hope nobody expects this to change soon.
You see, the internal review was game control version 1
Greenlight is game control version 2
So whatever is next is... the number which shall not be counted to

I have a feeling that the death of greenlight may be counter to what people here are believing right now.

UNHchabo:

Falterfire:
The article says Gabe Newell but the tweet is from a Dave Oshry. Is that an alias of Newell I was unaware of, or is there some context that makes it clear he's quoting Gaben? Or is the article just a mistake?

His previous tweet just before that:

Gabe talking about how he wants us to take control of content on Steam. Take control of the store & how we promote our games. #SteamDevDays

Steam is evolving to bear the brunt of a developer controlled store. Greenlight going away means removing the barrier between developers and the steam store.

The main article notes that this statement is awkward considering the success of greenlight. But, if you consider go away as meaning obsolescence, then the statement becomes crystal clear. Steam's evolution will render greenlight's functions obsolete. Greenlight is supposed to act as a gatekeeper for the store. But valve is evolving the store to a point where no such thing needs to exist.

It is adorable how people convince themselves that Valves motivation will be in line with increasing the players enjoyment, even when they indirectly trip over its intention. Valve knows what it is doing and knew what it was doing with greenlight. Its function serves to reinforce the unnatural natural monopoly they are striving to build and does so by taking in virtually ANY game in any state so that it helps to ensure Steam becomes THE distributor for any gem before the developer even bothers, much less finds success with anything like finding real distribution or promotion. Basically sucking up all the trash and expecting consumers to be the quality control, whilst still reaping profit from greenlit and distributed success and failures alike.

For lack of a better expression, Green light was effectively "The Notch Solution" so they can avoid future instances of missing out on an indie games out of nowhere meteoric rise and dig the hooks in before its success give its developers the audacity to think that they do not NEED steam. So any evolution of it will still retain and expand that core intention without having to suffer negative backlash from consumers being inundated with garbage and negative backlash that might drive developers away from Steam, even when their product is garbage, because they "know" distribution in any other form wont be as easy or anywhere near as profitable due to Steams massive reach.

Alarien:
Way too much indie junk on greenlight lately. Agreed. I'm ready for something else.

The great Indy invasion of the last year or two has been really good for gaming, particularly for PC gaming, but we need something to whittle down the number of titles to something that is palatable. Right now, it's almost impossible to find that diamond amongst all the coal. It almost reminds me of looking at Atari 2600 titles circa 1982 (or, more recently, the glut of PS1 games in 1996).

You'll never find a diamond in coal, the diamonds are further down, and that's the problem with greenlight/kick starter, it reminds me of those 2600/ps1 time's too, because it was all commercial trash then as well (thank god for personal computers :D ). While it was pretty much the same deal with pc's/home computers back then, real word of mouth meant something.

So... ..we haven't even seen it's final form?

Why am I now picturing a game, in which the various big game companies are enemy factions. You start out working with Valve, with Gabe as its benevolent leader giving you the tools and training you need to do battle with your foes. Then you gradually work your way though one company before taking on it's CEO as a boss battle - complete with requisite changes of form. Probably start with Zynga as an overgrown bully of a faction, but with really crappy warriors. Throw in a "Critic Battle" between levels where you do combat with game critics via giving them exactly what they want in a game till they collapse - admitting defeat. Possibly doing well in the battle will allow you to bring critics onto your side and use them in special moves - generating "Critic-al" hits. Make the first one a big name thats laughably easy, but build in difficulty with each level.

Finally defeat EA's CEO and stand panting from the battle, and Gabe arrives. He congratulates you, then informs you that - to truely be the master of the industry - you have one more battle to fight. Cue the massive reveal of the final boss: Steam-Gaben, a polymorphus monster that is a level all in and of itself. All the while you battle he's shouting encouragement, but critiquing your technique and demanding you show your skill. Finally you defeat him, and have a required "You, have truely... ..Mastered our indus... ..so proud." moment.

OH Wait! Worked out why, I need more coffee in the morning... ..and possibly more REM sleep.

Not a bad move, don't get me wrong steam greenlight wasn't a bad idea on paper, but its just too broken, too many shit games have got through it that otherwise valve would probably never have considered, while too many goods games have failed to pass through greenlight because of "reasons"

So yeah wouldn't be a bad thing to slowly get rid of it and maybe let the concept drift away until it's more viable

Valve announced today that the number of active Steam accounts increased by 15 percent over the final three months of 2013, from 65 million to 75 million,

Wow, that's a phenomenal figure. Anyone have any thoughts that could explain this? Were there any particularly popular titles released, or a change in tech (that I somehow missed) or something? I cannot think of a single thing that could cause such a leap.

 

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