On February 10, 2017, Steam announced on their blog that they would be replacing Steam Greenlight with a new game publishing system called Steam Direct.
Since 2012, Greenlight has been Steam’s primary method for publishing games made by indie developers through their public voting system. Steam users would vote on which games they were likely to buy and wanted to see on Steam, and if the game gained enough public interest, then it would gain a place on the platform. The method did not come without its flaws (some developers have controversially bought votes to get their game Greenlit), so Steam aspires to improve indie publishing through the new Steam Direct.
Steam is hoping that Direct will improve how they introduce new content to their platform and be a better method for connecting customers with the types of games they would like to play. With Direct, developers will now have to fill out digital forms in a similar fashion to applying for a bank account, as well as pay a recoupable application fee. Steam believes that this fee will help reduce the traffic of daily submissions made for publishing. In addition, the company is debating the cost of an additional publishing fee that could range anywhere from $100-$5000.
In light of some of the questionable content that gets Greenlit to Steam, the company is hoping that these new changes with Direct will help them distribute more quality content and gain submissions from developers who care strongly about their customer’s experience.
Steam Direct is said to arrive sometime in Spring 2017.