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Indie Devs Aren't Happy With Steam Greenlight

| 14 May 2013 08:09
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"Poor visibility" is the biggest complaint some developers have with Valve's community based-selection indie game selection tool.

Steam Greenlight is a kind of community-based selection tool for indie games on Valve's Steam platform. Developers pay an initial fee, submit their game to the service, and Steam users can vote for games they think warrant a Steam release. Despite Steam constantly touching-up the service, recently branching out to allow concepts as well as already-in-development games, some indie devs claim that it's simply not enough.

"Many people I know don't visit Greenlight pages because they forget it exists," wrote a representative from indie developer Intravenous Software in an online conference hosted by Valve. Valve's Tom Bui responded by saying that Greenlight has attracted roughly two million voters since its inception. "I understand that but it's not enough. You have millions of members and maybe 15k regular Greenlight viewers. Something is wrong," countered the developer.

The developer clarified by saying that votes and visitors are very different, and that most games on Greenlight will have a splurge of around 15k initial viewers, which will then rapidly drop off. "That tells me you have 15k people who come look at Greenlight on a weekly basis, and about 5k who check it once a month. Considering you have millions of members, don't you think those numbers are very low? Only games that get media attention get any more visitors than that." Developer Space Bullet also chimed in, suggesting that there have been sharp declines in traffic since Greenlight's launch.

Valve also disagreed with this. "Traffic in Greenlight has actually been pretty steady since after the big spike at launch," replied Valve's Alden Kroll.

Gabe "Austrian Santa Claus" Newell has stated previously that he plans to eventually do away with Greenlight entirely, and offer an even more community-based alternative. "But there's a lot of unknowns and a bunch of work between here and there. Steam and Greenlight will evolve over time as we iterate and improve the system with your input," said Kroll.

In the meantime, indie developers can look forward to the Steam API being made available to them before their project actually gets approval. "This is something we are actively looking into," said Bui, who wasn't able to give a solid time frame for the feature's implementation.

Source: Develop Online

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