Time to Evolve: Valve Dumping Steam Greenlight

Out with the old and in with the new - Steam Greenlight is facing curtain's call according to Valve's Gabe Newell.

Valve’s Steam Dev Days conference is a two-day gamer developer’s conference in Seattle for professionals to meet in a relaxed, off the record environment, with over 2,000 attending development professionals. The event is closed off from the press, but details about the future of Steam have managed to slip out – notably, that Valve is promising that Steam Greenlight will eventually “go away.”

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Until now, Steam Greenlight has been Valve’s way of crowdsourcing game submissions, helping indie developers carve out a place in the Steam marketplace. But Valve admits that the implementation has been less than perfect – and has been almost from the moment it was launched. 

From July of last year, in response to putting notoriously terrible game Infestation: Survivor Stories as a Daily Deal: 

“We realize that we are failing in this regard and are working to fix it. We’ve made some good progress, but we aren’t where we want to be yet,” Valve’s Tom Bui said. “However, because of this progress, we have been Greenlighting more titles within the past couple months (with a small pause for the Summer Sale), but it’s still not enough and we are fully aware of that.”

But the problems went beyond the necessary improvements to the back end, and the decision to pull the service (in its current incarnation at least) has been floating around for a long while.

Even as early as February of last year, during a talk at the University of Texas, Valve’s Gabe Newell discussed the possibility of dropping Greenlight:

“We came to the conclusion pretty quickly that we could just do away with Greenlight completely, because it was a bottleneck rather than a way for people to communicate choice. … Greenlight is a bad example of an election process. … We should stop being a dictator and move towards much more participatory, peer-based methods of sanctioning player behavior.”

Now, with over 75 million registered users, Steam is moving onto new horizons (namely with their SteamOS), and Greenlight is on its way out the door says Newell, according to VentureBeat:

“Our goal is to make Greenlight go away. Not because it’s not useful but because we’re evolving.”

Newell didn’t specify what Greenlight might possibly evolve into (if any semblance of the service will in fact remain), but it does point to a friendlier Steam platform that allows small developers an easier path to publishing their games.

To further help them achieve that, all of the 2,000 developer attendees are receiving a free Steam Machine to help them with future development.

What do you think? Will you miss Steam Greenlight?

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Stephanie Tang
Avid PC gamer, long-time console lover. I enjoy shooting things in the face and am dangerously addicted to pretty. I'm also a cat.