Valve to indies seeking publisher deals to bypass Greenlight: "do not split your royalties with a publisher expecting an automatic ‘Yes’." | PCGamesN

Valve to indies seeking publisher deals to bypass Greenlight: "do not split your royalties with a publisher expecting an automatic ‘Yes’."

Steam Greenlight, Valve’s process for approving indie and user submitted games on Steam, has once again found itself at the center of controversy, this time over an indie shooter named Paranautical Activity.

The developers of the game, Code Avarice (consisting of Mike Maulbeck and Travis Pfenning), had put it on Greenlight in the hopes of Steam approval, but they switched tacks after being contacted by Adult Swim, who promised to publish the game on Steam. Maulbeck and Pfenning abandoned their Greenlight submission.

However, it’s emerged that their publishing deal for Paranautical Activity to appear on Steam via Adult Swim was blocked by Valve. According to the devs, Valve explained that they “didn’t want to send the message that indies can seek out publishers to bypass Steam Greenlight.”

As Code Avarice scramble to get their Greenlight campaign back on track, we asked Valve’s Doug Lombardi how indies should approach the choice between Greenlight and straight publisher backing.

 “We review Greenlight votes, reviews, and a variety of factors in the Greenlight process,” Lombardi said. “However our message to indies regarding publishers is do it for your own reasons, but do not split your royalties with a publisher expecting an automatic ‘Yes’ on Greenlight.”

 Code Avarice appeared on Green9090’s Youtube channel to explain how this all looks from their side of things, and why it’s so hard for new indie developers to raise awareness of their Greenlight campaigns.

For now, Code Avarice are just hoping the attention they’ve received from Youtube and their community will put them over the top on Greenlight. But from their experience with Greenlight, they’ve become much more wary of Steam, and they make some good points about how Greenlight can be a Catch-22 for indie newcomers.

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VinsanityV22 avatarDeathbyStereo avatarEmpyre avatar
VinsanityV22 Avatar
5 Years ago

That sounds real not cool of Valve. If your Greenlight campaigns catches the interest of a publisher, that's a HUGE deal to an indie developer. A publisher can - especially a small, creator-driven one like Adult Swim - let you retain the creative control you need, while taking care of marketing and awareness. That's really not cool of Valve - they should have offered congratulations, not blocked a Steam release.


It sounds like Valve denied them because they thought Adult Swim's publishing deal would put them back on GREENLIGHT, when really they were headed to vanilla Steam. Here's hoping this is just confusion on Valve's part, otherwise... yeah, that's pretty effed up right there. A rare miss for Valve, who usually does the right thing.

DeathbyStereo Avatar
5 Years ago

This is straight bullshit, hey anyone reading this article, support them on Steam, and also write an email to steam and adult swim telling them how fucked up this is. How bout a congrats and good luck with the royalties? Adult Swim and those who made the game, TAKE IT TO ORIGIN, Steam as of late has been CRAPTASTIC

Empyre Avatar
5 Years ago

Steam looks to be on a slippery slope at the moment.  There is this, then this trading card bullshit that is going on.