Indies angry about Steam Greenlight fees, Valve says it's a work in progress

Independent developers were none too pleased to learn that Valve is now charging a $100 fee to list games on Steam Greenlight, a new service which allows users to vote on which games will be offered for sale on Steam.

The fee came into being because lots of fake games and porn titles began clogging the service, and making it difficult to find genuine titles. Valve felt that the $100 fee would discourage trolls, and vowed to offer all the extra revenue to Child's Play to show they're not trying to make a quick buck.

However, some have fired back saying that it amounts to putting an economic stranglehold on the service, ensuring that struggling game designers or poorer people wouldn't be able to list their games. 

Valve has now issued a statement that somewhat addresses the outcry.

"We always try to build quick iteration into our process for development of new features, and Greenlight will be no different. We have a huge list of suggestions from customers and the lessons we've learned from shipping, so Greenlight will definitely continue to evolve over the next weeks and months as we tune the system and add valuable features."

While it's certainly not an admission of wrongdoing, this comment reads like they're saying "whoa whoa, don't everybody get angry just yet. This might not be permanent, we're still evaluating things." We'll be following this story and will update this space if Valve offers any further comment.


  • HeavyTank - September 10, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    Well, if they're giving it to charity and want to discourage trolls they could make it 50$, but compare that price to ANY other prices to get your game showcased or even published and you'll see that the publicity you get ALONE, nevermind the publication, is well worth it. And to whoever said that that money is better spent on college fees: we're talking about tens of THOUSANDS of dollars verus 100.That's like comparing a BB gun to an orbital nuke.
  • PhantasyPopStar - September 9, 2012 2:24 p.m.

    They should just release their games on ios. It is way cheaper and has a larger, more intelligent fanbase.
  • Beoftw - September 10, 2012 12:33 a.m.

    Won't fall for that one again. lulz.
  • angelusdlion - September 10, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    *forheadpalms* Yah, cuz the app store has zero problems. Seriously, your fanboy is showing..
  • zombi3grim - September 9, 2012 6:34 a.m.

    Lolz. All you people thinking 100 dollars is something you can just wipe your ass with and say "here you go!" You have to look at value for your money and to pay THAT much JUST to have a CHANCE for people to see your game....not worth it. At all. Your better going to college, getting a degree and going to work for an already esteemed developer. Sure, college costs more, but at least you know its a sure thing when you graduate. Plus if your poor, you can get a grant and wont have to pay that shit back.
  • Notebooked - September 9, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    First of all, who do you mean by 'all you people'? Pretty much all the comments I've seen here are going "well that's kind of much, the price should be lowered", mixed with "well if you want to be successful, you have to risk something". And you can't be protesting against that, because that's what you're suggesting. "It's a sure thing when you graduate"? Nope, it's pretty much the same thing. You're not guaranteed a job when you graduate, whether it's high-paying or generic. You're saying it's ridiculous to pay a hundred dollars just to get a chance for people to see your game, but you're also saying it's not ridiculous to pay a lot more money -- payments that you might have to take loans for, loans that, due to interest rate, could follow you for life -- just to get a chance to get a job.
  • zombi3grim - September 9, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    No, if you go to college and apply yourself, its a sure thing your going to get a job. If you go to college and fuck around, thats again, your fault. If you make a game you love and pour your heart and soul into it, its NOT your fault if no one else loves it. Putting out a game and paying 100 dollars to put it on steam is a gamble. More so then just going to design school and getting a job. You have more controle over that.
  • Beoftw - September 9, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    Do you realize how much more it costs to get these games on things like XBL or even advertise them in general? 100 dollars is POCKET CHANGE in comparison to other marketing costs. And on a second note, going to college isnt going to guarantee you crap. I'd love for you to tell those thousands of art, english, math, and physics majors why they still dont have a job 3 years after graduation.
  • Redeater - September 9, 2012 12:44 p.m.

    I'm staying out of this argument but I wouldn't feel right if I didn't add videogames to your list. There was a time I was seriously considering a career in videogames. Looking at how brutal the industry is today I'm very glad I didn't. Programmers often have to move half way across the country if they are lucky enough to find a job and there isn't any guarantee that they will still be employed after their game comes out. Don't believe me? Look at how many studios closed down in the last two years.
  • oshunanat - September 9, 2012 8:50 p.m.

    Business is a gamble, period. Doesn't matter the nature of it - whether you make a physical product or sell a service there is never a sure bet. And not only is nothing a sure bet, but all businesses have start up costs and you can consider paying to get onto Steam Greenlight one of them. While I do think the prices should be lowered at the end of the day no one is forcing anyone to use Steam Greenlight. Don't like the fees, find another distribution platform. That's it. Pretty simple, really.
  • Notebooked - September 10, 2012 6:41 a.m.

    It's not at all a sure thing you're going to get a job. If there are two qualified people and one job, only one of those people will get that job. Getting a college education doesn't guarantee you a job, but it gets you that chance, which, on one hand, is better than nothing, but on the other hand, may peter out into nothing. I agree with that, yes -- you have control over what you learn from studying. But you have no control over what's needed on the market. Even if you study for what's needed on the market, the businesses that were hiring when you started may not be hiring when you graduate.
  • cchen04 - September 10, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    College is absolutely not a sure thing when you graduate. And $100 is not enough to purchase even one college textbook. Don't know why you brought college into this, but $100 is not bank breaking money. Not cheap, but not expensive either.
  • Balaska - September 9, 2012 4:15 a.m.

    Trolls Ladies and Gents. The reason we can't have nice things.
  • OohWiiUILookJustLikeBuddyHolly - September 8, 2012 4:59 p.m.

    Throw down $100 dollars to get your game green lit. Potentially make thousands of dollars afterwards. C'mon Indies.
  • dani-reader - September 9, 2012 5:46 a.m.

    Exactly. Spend to make. When did investing become something people didn't have to do? I love that indie game creators are coming up with great ideas, but it shouldn't mean that you don't have to continue to graft just as hard as everyone else in the world, who AREN'T talented like you are. Average Joes - idiots - like me. Just because you have kickstarter to give you free money for your projects now, don't get all self entitled. That's just silly.
  • lightsideluc - September 8, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    Make it a deposit. $100 (or better, just $50) to have you game listed. If it isn't taken down for breaking the rules or simply being shitty shovelware, you get your deposit back.
  • oshunanat - September 8, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    I'm with everyone else - I think the fee isn't a bad idea, it's just the amount of a fee that seems a bit high, maybe drop it down to $25? Though really if you think about it, if your game is good enough you'll recoup the cost in game sales. If your game isn't, then you probably shouldn't be trying to sell it anyway.
  • Scuffles - September 8, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    Personally if the donation keeps a single piece of crappy iOS shovelware off Greenlight, then it is worth every bit of ire :P At present Greenlight is inundated with shovelware, blatant ripoffs and games I wouldn't even deem worthy to be free flash titles. Worst of all that ocean of effluent is stealing attention from the few worthwhile games that are going up on Greenlight. I guess VALVe always could have simply suspended all Greenlight applications pending review and a potentially viable vetting process.
  • Scuffles - September 8, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    And that didn't even touch on the offensive spam people were tossing up left and right..............

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