After many years of trials and tribulations, Valve is finally dropping Steam Greenlight in favor of a new system. The company hopes that this new system, Steam Direct, will fix many of the problems currently present in Greenlight.
According to a blog post, Valve plans to completely replace Steam Greenlight with Steam Direct later this year. Instead of relying on Steam users to vote for what games they want published, the new system will require each publisher to complete digital paperwork. This paperwork will include personal/company verifications and tax documents, not unlike what people fill out when they apply for a bank account. Developers will also have to pay an application fee. Valve is hopeful that these changes will, as the blog puts it, “decrease the noise in the submission pipeline.”
Steam Greenlight was originally designed to help smaller indie developers publish their games on Steam. While many great games have released on Steam through Greenlight, including Rivals of Aether, SUPERHOT, Undertale, and Five Nights at Freddy’s, the system has received more than its fair share of absolute dreck. The Slaughtering Grounds is the best example of how horrible games have been greenlit despite their lack of quality.
Valve promises to listen to user feedback regarding Steam Direct. If the Steam community reacts positively to the changes, Direct might be the first of many significant overhauls.
Valve expects to release the new system sometime in Spring 2017.