Friday, June 2, 2017

Steam Direct, The Fee & Thoughts.

     It's funny because just yesterday in my latest post I mentioned Steam Direct and how the fee was still a mystery. Today, it is no longer a mystery and if you haven't already heard the news from Steam's blog or any other gaming news website already, then you probably are not a game developer who want's to publish a game to Steam. Or you just don't care.

     Anyway, today Valve officially announced that the Steam Direct fee will only be $100 per game. Also, this $100 fee is recoupable according to Valve.
Steam Blog: Link

     After weeks of indie developers stressing out and being on edge about the Direct price point and waiting for the news to come out, everyone can finally relax.

     At first, I was really surprised to see Valve's decision. Personally, I was expecting the fee to be between $300 and $500 myself actually. However, Valve decided to set the fee at the lowest price point possible so that smaller indies (me being a small indie as well) wouldn't get barred out and that is pretty awesome of them. I am really happy with this price point and I am sure many other indie developers are as well. This is a very fair and more than reasonable price to pay to have your game on the largest PC gaming store front in the world. I believe that this small fee gives every indie game developer the opportunity to shine and possibly become a success on Steam. Also, it just makes everything so much more simpler for everyone. No more running Greenlight campaigns, getting votes and waiting months to see if the game passes. Developers simply pay the fee, fill out some paper work (I think there will be paperwork), set up the game page and release on Steam.

     Of course at the same time this low price point might worry some people because now the Steam platform is available to publish on to anyone with $100. It brings up the argument that the platform could possibly become over flooded with low quality games, joke games, asset flips, etc. The argument that shady developers might abuse this new system and exploit it to set up cash farms just like they did with Greenlight. Developers worry that their games will just become buried under the hundreds of other games submitted making it hard to become visible to potential customers. And gamers worry that they will become overwhelmed with loads of games flooding the storefront pages making it more difficult to browse for games that they would be interested in.

     With a low price point of just $100 it is possible for any of these points that I brought up to happen however, no one knows for sure yet. With that said, the people over at Valve have also taken these potential possibilities into consideration. I have been keeping up with Valve's more recent blog post and it truly does sound like they are working hard to avoid any possible exploitation of the new system. Valve has already made changes to the trading card system, navigating the site, what content is recommended to which users depending on their interest and making changes to the sites algorithms to just make the entire platform the best it can be. Valve really does care about giving the end user an enjoyable store browsing experience and giving the developer the best platform to work on and it shows that they are working hard to constantly improve the site. And this is why in my opinion they are the best. Why they are the number one storefront in the world. With all that said, nothing is perfect and I am sure there will always be users complaining about something and users giving praise.

    Only time will tell how the Steam Direct system will perform so we just have to wait and see.
As for me, I will definitely be using Steam Direct to publish my upcoming future games. I am excited about it and am really looking forward to seeing the changes Valve continues to make. What are your thoughts about all of this? Tweet at me @snowconesolid

See you all on Direct!

Update: 6/6/2017

Steam Greenlight official retired. Steam Direct confirmed for June 13th, 2017