Valve has come out of the woodwork with a new announcement regarding their Steam service. They've revealed Steam Greenlight, a system through which developers can submit profiles for their games into Steam and allow the greater community to decide which games get released on the platform. A simple summary for a complex idea, but it's really that simple. It's not exactly crowd-funding, but another community-driven initiative -- which is always great.
The process is actually relatively simple. The first step is that a developer submits a video, four screenshots, a logo banner and a written description for their game. Now the community takes over, lending their support to games they approve and, well, not to the ones they aren't exciting about. Depending on how much support a game gets relative to other titles, Valve will then accept the finished product and allow it to be sold on their service. In this way, Valve replaces their small evaluation team with the greater community.
The question is, of course, what this means for what games will be released. Will this new system increase the availability of great games on Steam, will it increase the variety of games on Steam, or could it possibly mean the opposite -- a majority rules style of system that hurts the minority. How will an indie game made for $50,000 with a 2 person dev team compete against, say, EA's next big title? The concept sounds great, let's hope it remains as positive in practice.
Anna Sweet, part of the Business Development team at Valve, contributed this final thought:
"Making the call to publish or not publish a title isn't fun. Many times opinions vary and our internal jury is hung on a decision. But with the introduction of the Steam Workshop we realized an opportunity to enlist the community's help as we review certain titles and, hopefully, increase the volume and quality of creative submissions."
Steam Greenlight will be introduced on August 30, for all to use.