Scrolls price drops to compete on tablets

Clang Kickstarter cancelled by Neal Stephenson; some backers to be refunded

Endless Legend trailer marks launch and addition of the horrifying Cultists of the Eternal End

Race The Sun

One year of Greenlight: the problems

Yesterday, we looked at developers who had made the leap onto Steam via Greenlight, but few such developers have had such positive experiences. To some, Greenlight feels like a rigged game, something closer to a poorly planned lottery than a service for developers or players.

“It’s real bad,” said Mike Maulbeck of Code Avarice, the team behind Paranautical Activity, when we spoke to them this summer. “It’s broken.”

“Garbage,” his colleague, Travis Pfenning, chipped in. It wasn’t the first time the team were so outspoken. It should be noted that Paranautical Activity has since been greenlit, one of the hundred titles Valve gave the go-ahead to in an enormous anniversary event, even in spite of Code Avarice’s very public critique — a critique that has yet to be completely addressed.

The pair had no hesitation about criticising a process that they saw as “shady,” ambiguous and inconsistent, as they believe it cost them dear. As Travis put it, “It screwed us out of a quarter of a million dollar deal.”

Code Avarice joined many other aspiring indies by placing Paranautical Activity on Steam Greenlight in the hopes of winning enough support to see the game adopted. Then Adult Swim took notice and told the team they could take the game directly to Valve in a big money deal.

Representatives from Adult Swim met with Valve, showed them a portfolio that included Paranautical Activity, but returned with news of a refusal precisely because, Maulbeck says, the game was already vying for a spot via Greenlight: “They said they don’t want to send the message that independent developers can use publishers to get around the system.”

The pair were, to say the least, disappointed. During an appearance on YouTuber green9090’s channel, they spoke at length about how unhappy with the system they were beyond just their rejection (“The service that's supposed to get us onto Steam is the only thing stopping us from getting onto Steam.”). Maulbeck said that this inspired several other indies to join the discussion.

“People complain about it a lot,” Maulbeck explained. “With the whole Paranautical Activity thing, that got really big and a lot of press and now people are looking at Greenlight, they’re seeing all these inconsistencies. They’re like ‘What’s going on here?’” The inconsistencies he describes are an opaqueness in Valve’s statistics, their selection protocols and what seems to be a disregard for the rankings of games. The most voted-for games are not necessarily those that are greenlit.

Login or Register
1
+1
-0
xprez's picture
20

The problem with greenlight is that its a popularity contest essentially so that makes it harder for the smaller indie guys to get up there without advertising help from lets say totalhalibut or other youtubers.

Alienware - Game VictoriousNvidia Shield - Titanfall
Gang Beasts Early Access review

Gang Beasts

Gang Beasts Early Access review

Survival racer Distance coming to Early Access this fall

Survival racer Distance coming to Early Access this fall

The Masterplan breaks into Steam Early Access

The Masterplan breaks into Steam Early Access

Wayward Tide: Starbound developer Chucklefish's next game is a co-op swashbuckler

Wayward Tide: Starbound developer Chucklefish's next game is a co-op swashbuckler

Double Fine's Hack 'n' Slash snuck out early

Double Fine's Hack 'n' Slash snuck out early

Clockwork Empires Early Access review

Clockwork Empires

Clockwork Empires Early Access review

Paradigm: an adventure game that pits a mutant musician against an evil sloth

Paradigm: an adventure game that pits a mutant musician against an evil sloth

Building gaudy ships in Gratuitous Space Battles 2

Building gaudy ships in Gratuitous Space Battles 2

Lost in the woods: Campo Santo shows off the Firewatch PAX demo

Lost in the woods: Campo Santo shows off the Firewatch PAX demo

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will make you uncomfortable on November 4th

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will make you uncomfortable on November 4th

Bedlam asks ‘What if I could take Doom’s BFG into a fantasy RPG?’

Bedlam

Bedlam asks ‘What if I could take Doom’s BFG into a fantasy RPG?’

"Modern Transport Tycoon" Train Fever launches this week, with 150 years worth of trains

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 puts on quite the light show

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 puts on quite the light show

Campo Santo reveal first trailer for Firewatch at PAX

Campo Santo reveal first trailer for Firewatch at PAX

The Journey Down: Chapter Two review

The Journey Down: Chapter Two

The Journey Down: Chapter Two review

Facepunch Studios announce Arcade: want to

Facepunch Studios announce Arcade: want to "let players design their own arcades"

Maia 0.44 ramps up the danger with catastrophic earthquakes and suspicious aliens

Maia 0.44 ramps up the danger with catastrophic earthquakes and suspicious aliens

Prison Architect alpha 24 turns prisoners into snitches

Prison Architect alpha 24 turns prisoners into snitches

Not going to PAX Prime? There are bundles for that

Not going to PAX Prime? There are bundles for that

S.W.A.P is a first-person shooter with body-swapping and no guns

S.W.A.P is a first-person shooter with body-swapping and no guns