Move by Valve's digital distribution platform could silence service's biggest critics
Developers that have often grumbled about having games rejected from Steam may be appeased by a new community voting element that lets gamers decide what gets sold on the site.
"Steam Greenlight is a new system that enlists the community's help in picking some of the next games to be released on Steam," the firm has said today on a new FAQ posted on steamcommunity.org.
"Developers post information, screenshots, and videos for their game and seek a critical mass of community support in order to get selected for distribution. Steam Greenlight also helps developers get feedback from potential customers and start creating an active community around their game as early in the development process as they like."
The move would not only help grow the selection of games on the service, it would give developers the option to find out more about the potential popularity of their games.
The move echoes the huge popularity of crowdfunded and Kickstarter led projects that have found audiences and support through campaigns for funding, often before development has even begun.
One criticism often levelled at the service by developers is that they have little-to-no visibility of what Valve's motives are in deciding what does or doesn't get posted on the site to sell.
Although some big publishers get a lot of content up there, some indies have said their games have been rejected, with no explanation.
"We knew there had to be a better way," Valve said today, explaining, "there are titles that have tied up this internal greenlight group in the past.
"Over the many years that Steam has been selling games, the release rate of games on Steam has continued to grow significantly. But given Steam's existing technological pipeline for releasing games, there's always been a reliance on a group of people to make tough choices on which games to not release on Steam."
Games submitted to Greenlight will still be separate from those usually submitted for the said panel's consideration, but it will potentially open developers up to a more vocal and democratic audience: gamers themselves.
The service is for "PC & Mac at this time" and will launch in August.