In the world of video games, there was for a time a major divide on who could publish a video game and how it was distributed. True, anyone could make a game in theory, but if you wanted to make money off of it, or show it off to the world, that wasn’t so easy. Then, Valve introduced Steam Greenlight, where developers could show off their game, and then the gaming community would vote to say whether it should get published on Steam or not. Numerous titles both big and small found their way into the world via Steam Greenlight, but now, it’s time for it to end.
Valve themselves wrote a post on Steam noting that Greenlight would be shutting down today, and that they would be working to bring its next iteration, Steam Direct, online by June 13th. But to honor Greenlight, they took a look back at what made it special, as well as looked forward to why Direct is coming.
Steam Greenlight launched August 30th, 2012, and was meant to be a way for publishers to have an easier time getting onto Steam via player interaction and voting. Before Greenlight, a small group of Valve employees had to wade through the games that were out there and try to predict what fans would like on Steam. This proved to be a boon, for in just that first year, hits that they themselves admitted they didn’t predict were possible came through. Games like Rogue Legacy, and Verdun. And the hits have continued to come ever since.
As for why Steam Direct is coming, they wish to refine the process of getting games on Steam, and make it so it’s even easier in some ways to get on. Steam Greenlight was a huge part of their history, but now they want to advance things even more, and they hope that more successes come for indie developers because of it.