Since Valve announced it was replacing Steam Greenlight with Steam Direct back in February, the big question has been how high it would set the fee for developers to be listed on the new service. Today, we have the answer: $100.
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That’s at the very bottom of the $100-$5,000 spectrum that Valve mooted in February. “We knew that we wanted [the fee] to be as small as possible to ensure it wasn’t a barrier to beginning game developers, while also not being so small as to invite easy abuse by people looking to exploit our systems.”
They say “our internal thinking beforehand had us hovering around the $500 mark, but the community conversation really challenged us to justify why the fee wasn’t as low as possible, and to think about what we could do to make a low fee work.”
Most agree that the fee should be significant, as one of the key problems with Greenlight was that it accrued too many spam games. Greenlight charged $100 per Steam account, after which unlimited submissions were possible.
This time around, Direct is charging $100 per game, supported by features designed to help the Steam Store’s algorithm find the games you want. On that subject, in May we heard that you'll soon be able to see exactly why the algorithm is showing you a particular game. Today's announcement elaborates:
“We're going to look for specific places where human eyes can be injected into the store algorithm, to ensure that it is working as intended, and to ensure it doesn't miss something interesting.”
Tweaks to the Steam Curators programme will complement this effort. Curators will be able to create lists of games, which they can categorise, and will find it easier to get early access to games for review. Curators who create content for other platforms (e.g. YouTube) will find it easier to integrate that content to their page.
You can read the announcement in full here.