Some concerns with Steam Greenlight
So yeah, Steam Greenlight is a thing now. Valve is going to accept new games on Steam based on community voting. As could be expected, it’s the subject of the day for all the dev people around the social networks. It wouldn’t be the internet if we didn’t discuss and complain about things that are not even live yet, right?
To be honest, I have some concerns of my own as well. I mean, I’m sure it’s a brilliant PR move from Valve. Its community will feel even more empowered and it’s bound to bring them more fans. But I’m unsure if it’s going to bring a positive change for the game developers. Or any change at all.
A quick summary of my concerns:
- The main problem with Steam, from the perspective of indie developers, is that it’s very hard to get on the service if your game isn’t very high profile — with IGF awards, reviews in mainstream press, and such. I don’t see how Greenlight is going to change that.
- Imagine all that “Please, vote for my game on Steam!” spam everywhere. It’s annoying even now with the Kickstarter posts on reddit and forums. I don’t like that being indie slowly turns into being a glorified beggar.
- What about niche games? Can they compete with mass-market stuff? Won’t it turn into another AppStore/casual portal? After a twitter chat with Gareth Fouche (a fellow indie dev), we came to a conclusion that games are probably going to compete only for slots in their own weight category (Valve claims something similar), but I still have my doubts.
- It’s going to be a lot like Kickstarter, with all the good and bad that comes with it. Popularity and track record is going to trump project quality. On one hand, it’s okay and nothing new, especially from Valve’s business perspective. On the other — what about brilliant newcomers? Can they stand a chance without an established fanbase?
- No seriously, those “vote for my game plz!!!” posts are going to be annoying as hell. And, worst of all, I’ll have to make my own too.
Of course, at this point it’s just some empty predictions, perhaps dictated by the fear of change. It remains to be seen how it’s going to fare in reality.