If you're a common user of Steam, you're probably aware of Steam Greenlight. This is a service that allows independent developers to pitch their game ideas to the gaming community to potentially find a space in the Steam store. It has never been loved by developers or gamers as it requires a fee for developers to have a chance at publishing, and a strange amount of time for gamers to evaluate a game which you have not played.
Fortunately, nine years after its launch, the Steam Greenlight program is coming to an end. In its place, Steam will be launching a Steam Direct program where independent developers don't need your permission to publish their games to Steam's online marketplace. Instead, a publisher will simply need to provide some corporate paperwork, tax information and a registration fee, and they can start selling in the Steam marketplace.
This structure is similar to how most of the app stores work as well. For example, if you want to publish to the Windows Store, all you have to do is provide a one-time payment and your information to receive taxes and you're ready to go. As this setup has worked well in the mobile space, Steam will be adopting it as well. This move puts an end to Valve's belief that Steam would succeed as a curated content store and, instead, moves them into a more open marketplace of gaming ideas and concepts.
This is a good move for steam because it will encourage more indie developers to publish through the Steam marketplace, generating more revenue for Valve and more revenue for indie game developers. It will likely also encourage more people to try their hand at game development, as they now have a centralized place to sell their wares.
If you've checked out our game review section you will notice that we are fond of indie games. We are really excited to see Steam support that community in a new way. The new setup will go live in Spring 2017.
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