Steam Now Charging $100 For Indie Games To Appear On Greenlight

Steam Now Charging $100 For Indie Games To Appear On Greenlight

With over 700 games already submitted to Steam’s new Greenlight service, it’s getting hard keeping track of things. It’s also getting tough having to sift through the joke submissions to find the actual games.

In an effort to cut down on this, Valve today announced it will be introducing a $US100 fee for a game to be posted on Greenlight. The good news is that this should cut down on the number of crude platformers with the word GABEN in the title.

The better news is that Valve won’t even pocket the money; the proceeds will be donated to the Child’s Play charity, as they “have no interest in making money from this, but we do need to cut down the noise in the system”.

It’s not often you come across a perfect plan, but this sure looks pretty close.

What We’re Doing About Discoverability in Steam Greenlight [Steam]


  • Donating to charity is a great idea – but how about refunding it to the dev if the game gets up? Or reward people for taking part by giving it away randomly if you voted it up? Or split it 50/50 with charity?

    • What’s wrong with giving it all to charity ?
      Valve are happy not to profit from it and if a developer cannot afford $100, then they’re not in a position to release a game.
      Given the potentially massive exposure they will get from being on Steam, it’s a very cheap way of advertising your game. Try getting exposure elsewhere for that price.

    • how about just giving it to charity? If the game gets approved they will likely make more than $100. And random cash giveaways will cause them all sorts of trouble with the laws in many countries. Not to mention it encourages people to just vote for everything even when they don’t actually like the game simply for the chance to win some money

    • They are trying to show us that they also care about the people in this world who need help and not just the Gamers who become self centred pigs and think Valves attention should just be on us.

      I think its a great idea for charity. Gains respect from the developers snd gamers alike.

      And yh, having ur game on Steam can make you some huge amounts of money so I dont think they care about that $100.
      Even the crap indie games will still turn over a profit simply because of how many people use steam.

      Indie gamers are our future Innovaters and we need them to get this industry where it was with the PS2’s innovation in gaming. Back then nearly every game I heard about was selling millions of copies because no one was afraid to innovate then, now we are stuck with designers who have run out of new ideas, now its time to let these Indie developers shine through the cracks and make this industry shine. For christ sakes the Xbox one, PS1 and 2 had awsome games coming out every week, now its every 2 or 3 months. Bloody crazy.

    • I presume you mean QA, and it’s a pretty good alternative to hiring a hundred extra staff to test every junky submission.

    • Actually, it’s just a way to reduce the deluge of games slapped together in five minutes for a shot at the “big time”.

  • I’m a massive Valve fan, but that’s 2 disastrous decisions in a very short time for Greenlight.

    First the troll-baiting ‘downvote’ button, and now a $100 entry fee.
    Having a similar cost hasn’t kept iOS app store free of crap, has it?

    $100 doesn’t stop idiots submitting. It stops poor people.

    • I don’t know how to put this without sounding somewhat elitist, but how many people on the dole are likely to be developing indie games?

      If you’re investing in something important to you, $100 really isn’t that much to save.

      • crotchdot pretty much said it, I think the fee is a good thing.

        I saw on the first 2 days, a numerous amounts of Half Life 3 being posted into greenlight by various people, aye I found it funny, but it did abuse the system. Now if you are a developer, and honestly putting effort into a game to put on Steam, then $100 is nothing.

        + the money goes to charity, how great is that it’s a win win situation for the honest and charities. (I say this because if you’re a developer that makes it through the Steam process and putting your heart and soul into the game developing, you’ll easily see a profit on the $100 donation that you paid sooner.

      • Not to mention, Steam has a huge userbase, so as many commenters on the steam thread have pointed out, just having it listed can get your group attention, so the 100 dollars for that level of advertising is quite cheap, so long as your game is something that is in sellable condition (which many of the game posted in the first few days really weren’t.

        • Yea it seems like this new $100 really should be more of a replacement for the downvote button, since they both basically tackle the same issue.

      • Why remove the down vote button ? Otherwise you have the Facebook nonsense, where you either like something or neutral, with no option to show if you dislike something.
        Given gamers are fairly invested in their entertainment, it sounds like a sensible option.

        • I think that Facebook should have a downvote button, and that you shouldn’t have to ‘Like’ something to write on its wall. However, in this case the down vote has no point – the whole basis for green light is to determine if there is a market for individual products. A down vote just says you won’t buy it, which isn’t very informative.

        • If Valve is trying to decide whether to add a game to the store, surely they are mostly interested in how many people would want to buy the game.

          If you have one person who likes the game and one person who hates it, those opinions don’t necessarily cancel each other out: more likely it will result in one person buying the game and the other not.

        • Downvote are not going to give accurate feedback anyway. For those who looked through the 700 entries there the other day, did any of you downvote ~700 times on the projects you didn’t like or just up voted the ones you wanted to support? There is no meaningful metric from downvoting. People who don’t want it already have thier voice heard by not voting in the first place.

    • Seriously man. Do you know anyone who can afford to have the gear to write a computer game that CAN’T afford a 100 dollar charity donation to get aforementioned game onto Greenlight?

      These days, thanks to Poe’s law, I can’t tell if people are trolling or just generally pants on the head retarded.

  • I am always amazed by Valve’s completely sane solutions to problems like this. They show every other distribution company how it’s done, even after the usual soul-sucking process of going from a little indie start-up to mega-giant corporation.

  • Valve’s hand was pushed to this point. The amount of bullshit was ridiculous I didn’t even bother looking anymore at the submissions due to the extremely high “fake” indie games.

    After 10 minutes, I realised I had reported 20+ submissions. Good move Valve.

  • I don’t know how this helps someone like Joakim Sandberg, who won’t pay the $100 because he doesn’t really believe in his (excellent) work.

  • I get that Valve have to do something to stop all the spamming, but if it’s my money I’d want to make the choice myself to donate money to charity. If I wanted a game on Steam I’d have no choice. I know the do-gooders will hate me, but that’s just how I feel about donating money. I decide.

    • Your’e not donating the money though, you’re paying valve to use their service and they are donating the profits.

  • Was expecting a lot of hate for this, but when I read a bit more (esp. the bit where they’re donating it), realised this is actually a really GOOD solution

  • I don’t know how effective this really will be. The Apple App store, and XBLIG both have similar entry fees and there’s still a tonne of shovelware on those. Although this is just to nominate yourself for voting rather than actually getting your game on to Steam so it may have the desired effect.

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