Steam Direct, the replacement of Steam Greenlight and the supposed judgement day for a ton of the crappy propositions we get in said service has come. However, as far as 5 minutes passed since the idea was laid down, and a ton of developers are starting to bring their two cents to the table about whether or not the program will be better or worse for the market platform itself.
One of the main concerns is the process to submit a game. With it being exhuberating because it requires to have to make paperwork similar to opening a bank account (Which is FUN! Am I right?) and then paying a fee that could be from 100 to 5000 dollars. Which remains uncertain until more details are laid down in April.
Some of the main complaints from a ton of indie developers is the fee itself, with the major concern being the cost of $5000.00. Since developers are mainly dependant on low costs for publishing. While Steam greenlight helped this with the community giving votes towards games they wanted to be in the store. howver, a lot of Steam groups with the ill intention of "Promoting" Greenlight games by giving games for free to users in order to get shoddy projects online is also one of the reasons why Steam Direct and a fee need to exist. So that Valve employees rather than Steam users themselves test a game proeprly and deem it worthy of being at sale in the catalogue.
However, I am one of the persons who agrees that $5000 is a very hard stretch for indie developers, yet I don't want to see another wave of horribly put together asset compilations that get around if Valve proposes a lineant 100 dollar fee. A lot of journalists have reached a consensus that the fee should be around 1500 dollars. And while I think that this really narrows the chances of game developers. I can point out a few reasons why I deem this fee reasonable.
The first one of such reasons is definitely the fact that the fee itself is recoupable, so any game developer who has invested their money will get that fee back after a certain amount of conditions has been met. These conditions are yet to be clarified by Valve but it's most likely recoupable after the quality control check and the game performing well, returning a certain degree of revenue from the sales it gets.
Secondly. This would drastically reduce most if not all of the awful Steam Greenlight titles we have been seen over time, a ton of scammers, con-artists or simply lazy people have demonstrated that 100 dollars is certainly not a giant fee to pay. and they will of course find it much much harder to post their little meme titles and Asset store Sample compilations for the fee to not be recoupable because it didn't sell as well as they thought. So they would think twice before paying $1500.00 and try to make something original.
And speaking of originality in games. I have seen how some developers who have worked on various famous indie titles have oftenly discussed that you should have a generous budget from 1000 dollars to even start game developing. I am one of those who agrees on such points because developing videogames requires a huge amount of money, time and dedication.
Now, with solutions, Steam direct brings its own set of problems. For starters, while $100 dollars may seem like a very small barrier for awful developers, maybe $1500 or higher can be equally small for a developer who hasz the capital to invest. And it will also limit those great developers who could NEVER be able to pay 1000 dollars.
also, hasn't the games industry in many aspects subestimated the trolls and people who have actually go out of their way to do what they want to do? Just look at Jim Sterling's backlash he got after giving The Legend of Zelda a 7/10 to see what I mean, a measily pay wall will be nothing to a troll who wants to put their next harambe simulator up in the shelves of the Steam Storefront.
Certainly, a democratic system like Greenlight's seems like the solution, but it would be better if said democracy was handled by curators or freelance game journalists. Of course, uit has to be a total of 8 or 9 Curator votes out of 15 to actually get Greenlit and into the Valve storefront. This would be a great collaborative effort between developers and magazine writers.
Steam Direct is a breath of fresh air for the Steam Storefront. And while I am a bit skeptical about the results it will bring, mostly due to lack of information from valve about the subject, I can certainly hope that the new feature will actually end with our woes and memes about Steam being a garbage game Storefront and more quality works of love from indie developers get the spotlight they deserve.
Javier Ulises, NoobFeed