Last Friday, Valve launched Steam Greenlight, a community centered vetting program that would push indie games forward to be reviewed for release on the platform. Even from day one though, trouble was brewing as those who jumped onto the service noticed an excess of illegitimate game postings.
Responding to the requests that were clogging up the system, Valve released a message stating that they plan to eliminate the problem in two ways. First, anyone who wants to place a game up on the Greenlight service will have to pay a fee of $100. Valve notes that
The proceeds will be donated to Child’s Play. We have no interest in making money from this, but we do need to cut down the noise in the system
The second change is that the list of games players will encounter for approval will be
a smaller, manageable list of games that you haven’t rated. This view is a mix of popular games and new games to Greenlight
Regarding the fee, this seems like a great idea. Though I’m not registered myself, I’m a user of the answer and question site ask.metafilter.com for a variety of questions that I need answered. (How to cool my apartment down during this scorching summer is an inquiry that I found really helpful suggestions for there.) Metafilter manages to keep quality of the discussions high and the trolling to an amazingly low amount by charging everyone who wants to post on the site a one-time fee of $5. As it turns out, while trolls loves to be jerks, it’s not worth the small cost to do so.
Of course the problem with Greenlight’s fee is that it’s asking the least financially backed developers to do so. Enter Dejobaan Games, developers of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity and The Wonderful End of the World. The studio posted on their blog today that they will happily pay the fee for another indie dev and are currently taking submissions themselves. Dejobaan has also called upon other indie devs to help pay the fee for others if able, and if the studio’s Twitter feed is to be believed, the response has been great:
While I’ll posit that a $10 fee would be just as effective, it’s great to see the circle of positive effect this is causing. Indies help each other out, users get a better experience, and money goes to a good cause. Good job, internet.