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Steam Greenlight is Going Away

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Schneider21, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. TechDeveloper

    TechDeveloper

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    "If you don't like it, do business elsewhere." oh really? oh wow thanks for that helpful information. I didn't realize I could do business elsewhere.

    "As for speculation as to how this is going to work and what it's going to mean for Valve/us/our customers, there's really not enough information there to give meaningful insight. It's far too vague and open to interpretation, not to mention that they could change their minds on anything at any point anyway."

    Relax we're just talking.. you know people do that..
     
  2. Ryiah

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    Talking? Or snarking? :p
     
  3. AcidArrow

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    I also didn't like Greenlight. At first it had too much drama/was a weird popularity contest/almost felt like a reality show.

    Then they made it easier to get through, so it didn't have much point (and was easily exploited).

    But the new system has a lot of problems too. Different ones, depending on the fee.

    If it's 100$ then it's so trivial, there will be even more terrible games on Steam and this will make it an even worse system than Greenlight.

    If it's 5000$ it will for sure stop a lot of devs (especially in poorer countries) from posting their games.

    But they'll probably choose something more reasonable. I'm guessing the hope is that in the venn diagram of developers, terrible developers overlap more with "can't afford/do not deem worth it to pay x$" than those that can and will.

    And that may even be true. Because at the very least it will stop a lot of games being posted "for teh lolz", which happens a lot right now.

    But there will also be good devs that can't afford/are not confident enough to pay the fee. And that's a bit... worrisome? Sad?

    I don't have a better solution to offer though.
     
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  4. Ryiah

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    Or getting voted through Greenlight when it is very obvious the game has no chance of succeeding.
     
  5. hippocoder

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    If you intend to make 5k, and it'd be utterly pointless aiming lower, then yes you'd be welcome on a premium marketplace. And there are alternatives to steam for those who wish to continue scamming, asset flipping and generally being asses.

    Anyway I said this would be the solution ages ago in similar threads about curated stores etc - put a barrier to entry fee to ensure people stop abusing it.

    I see this a lot.

    But, tough luck. There's alternative stores. If the game is good, then they will *easily* break 5k on alternative stores. Really, zero argument.

    It's just bitching from stupid people. There's a lot of stupid people (regardless of country). I don't know, maybe the truth hurts. Clearly, it's possible to make cash on any number of other stores then publish on steam after. This is no barrier at all. It would be if there weren't any other other ways to sell I guess.

    And steam is a business, not a charity. It's a business that has slowly been undermined by a prodigious amount of shovelware, which harms businesses that work with it.

    Some dumb comments have been made regarding freedom and rights and all that, but that's just stupid people talking again. It's OK to say a cat is black if it is, or water is wet. It's not actually name calling, but a clear observation.

    Don't know about everyone here, but I'd like decisions to be made based on reason.
     
  6. AcidArrow

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    Reason says steam should let games on its platform that will make profit.

    There's no way to judge that properly. Judging based on "who has x$ handy" is a bit arbitrary and may or may not have a positive effect on Steam. I don't find it very reasonable.

    I said nothing about freedom and rights (but I'm assuming you're not talking specifically about me) and I find that kinda silly too.

    Personally, I'd like Steam to go to the older model of being completely curated, maybe with more staff so that they can go through more games. Being judged on profit potential by Valve staff, is also arbitrary, but it seems a bit less than "how much money do you have in your pocket right now".
     
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  7. MV10

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    I never did figure out how XBLIG approvals worked. You had to do some public testing in the forums (although many games available on XBLIG didn't appear to actually do this) and then somebody from MS still had to approve it. That's the part that was so baffling to me. Very good games (including some I helped playtest) were sometimes shot down by MS with no explanation offered, yet the store was full of total garbage, including many that literally didn't work.

    Whatever the vetting process actually was for XBLIG, it was terribly broken and that was the fundamental flaw, long before any question of average indie-game quality enters the picture.

    Steam is in a different era. In the XBLIG days, mobile crapware was still a relatively new problem and overwhelming volumes of shovelware hadn't really hit non-mobile platforms yet. There was a lot of terrible content on XBLIG but it wouldn't take you six weeks of scrolling to dig up the handful of gems.

    I suspect everyone is focusing too much on the $5K number. To me that sounds like a random number he pulled out of the air. "Could be $100, could be $5000," is the sort of thing you say when nobody really has any numbers in mind yet. But even if $5K is a possibility, that won't end shovelware. Professional junk-vendors like Ketchapp would happily pay that entry fee, and it's just icing on the cake that the smaller guys they copy may not be willing or able to risk it.

    Let's also keep in mind Valve already collects billions from Steam every year. Whatever their goal is here, finding a few more of those 100-odd indie games that generated over $1 million each is likely not the real point of what they're doing. Obviously that's good money but it's a drop in the bucket, comparatively speaking.

    My guess is they simply feel $100 is too cheap and they know there is a higher price point they can ask that won't stop anyone or change anything. It's the Steam version of Adobe's subscription-model pricing.
     
  8. AcidArrow

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    Since the cost is recuperable I don't see that making them money.

    I think their goal is to open the floodgates even more than how it was with Greenlight and that's going to be pretty bad.
     
  9. Ostwind

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    Can someone tell me what is the definition of a "crap" game and on what basis things would be curated?

    To some, games like Goat simulator, My summer car or Whos your daddy looked like they were crap or joke games. What about all the pixel or block art games which some do not consider good games due the art style. How does a curator determine if a game is good unless he actually plays it a lot. How do they detect asset flips or other shady things?

    Apple reviewers for example do not really care about the actual content as long as its following the technical guidelines and is politically correct and etc.

    I remember Valve saying several times that they do want to manage or review the content because it's very subjective and there is audience for almost everything.
     
  10. AcidArrow

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    The same basis they use to curate their frontpage I guess (just with a different threshold).
     
  11. Ostwind

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    Front page is mainly automated, driven by things like sales, popularity and user preferences. There was an article or a post about it once by Valve employee.
     
  12. Ryiah

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    There may not be a way to judge that but there is a way to go about it. You could allow every game onto Steam with the requirement that it make a certain amount of money within a certain time frame or be removed from Steam.
     
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  13. AcidArrow

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    That sounds kinda cool actually.

    Not sure if it would work though.

    (it could also be exploited easily. still cool :p )
     
  14. AcidArrow

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    Didn't know that, cheers :)
     
  15. MV10

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    They didn't say "we won't take a cut until you reach the magic payback number," which is the only way they'd lose out.

    Even if refund terms were 1:1 (you pay $1,000, and get it back at $1,000 in sales), with their 30% cut you've paid them $1,000 to get in, they've collected $300 more on your $1,000 in sales, so they're sitting on $1,300 from you before they return your grandizzle. They've still made $300 from you.

    And my bet is the payback point will be a much higher target. Maybe for example, $1,000 to get in and $10,000 to get it back. That means they're keeping the $1,000 entry fee plus as much as $3,000 from their 30% cut on a whole bunch of hopefuls who never manage to hit that $10K golden ticket.

    That's how I'd structure it.
     
  16. AcidArrow

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    That's how I thought it was, but you're right the phrasing is way more vague than that.

    I guess we'll see.
     
  17. neginfinity

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    I see this argument a lot. The problem is that steam is a business, and not a defender of some noble cause of "quality games". Being a business they'll happily let shovelware onto the store, as long as the shovelware is profitable for steam.

    So far steam has been doing a great job utilizing shovelware. The store is consistently improving it's search/suggestions algorithms, and the end goal of improvements seems to be providing decent experience in for those who are not interested in junk, but at the same time the store profits from the public that buys "I can't believe my friends gifted me this" games "for the lulz", utilize trading cards, etc.

    And, "Charity"? They get a cut from sales. Of course they're not a charity. They are a business. And due them being a business I'd expect them to milk every little garbage game for profit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
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  18. AndreasU

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    Hmm... I always thought that going through Greenlight was a nice marketing boon, to get some initial followers directly on Steam who put your game on their wishlist and may liven up your forums prior to release.

    Now, your game just pops up in the new games section some day...

    So i'd say initial marketing on other sites got even more important.

    Im not sure if there was an actual, rational reason. Some gamers seemed to heavily rage about bad games making it onto Steam although with refund available, it shouldnt really have been an issue anymore.

    I dont think after the initial scammy gold rush, that scam games made much money at all anymore. The outrage always seemed very artificial to me.
     
  19. The-Britain

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    I'm happy to see it dead. Death to shovelware and asset flips.
     
  20. ShilohGames

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    Once Steam Greenlight is replaced with Steam Direct, it is possible the amount of shovelware and asset flips will massively increase, especially if the price point is relatively low per game. It all depends on what price point Valve chooses. At $100 per game, there will be a flood of shovelware.
     
  21. hippocoder

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    It's much more reasonable since putting your money where your mouth is entails developer risk, and nobody takes a risk without reason.

    Greenlight was $100 then risk free no matter how much garbage you'd like to throw at the store.
     
  22. AcidArrow

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    I concede.

    (although I fully expect for Valve to set it at sub 500$ range and have even more shovelware than before)
     
  23. zombiegorilla

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    There has always been $100 fee for Greenlight. I think it is a safe bet it won't be $5000. I don't think it is worrying at all. Steam is marketplace. There are many places to post games on the web for free. Since the fee is recoupable, it isn't really a fee, but more of an investment. As a marketplace, it is expected that anything put in that marketplace is there to generate sales. This just creates a minimum sales threshold.

    If a developer doesn't know if their game can generate the sales they need, they can do a kickstarter, or build up hype or marketing elsewhere and when they are confident, then bring it to steam. Greenlight, I think, was in theory, supposed to do that, but in practice never did.
     
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  24. HiddenMonk

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    Just to make things clear

    Steam greenlight 100$ fee is a one time fee for infinite access to greenlight, while this new system will be a fee per game and voting is no longer a thing.
    We are all basically hoping the fee is high enough to make it not worthwhile for "those" developers to put out crappy games, while also being low enough for the rest of us to still see it as a viable/reachable option.

    Fingers crossed ^^
     
  25. zombiegorilla

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    I am sure this will happen. But I don't really see that this is problem. That stuff already exists. It exists everywhere. But the problem currently is that the flood of shovelware is a barrier to other developers even getting their product in the store. Now if you have a small unknown game, you must spend a lot of time and effort just to get it recognized to get past that, long before you even get a chance to sell. If everyone can publish, then you can get it out there and start real marketing and building a sales. The current state is you have to complete with shovelware, and community drama, just ot get a chance to compete with shovelware.

    This to me, opening it seems much more fair. You will always have to compete with other games (any product really), in your space. Greenlight, as it was, meant that even before you could actually compete you had to do this lame social drama of getting votes. It didn't prevent or lower shovelware, and created tons of residual crap like buying and selling of votes, and upvoting/downvoting wars. All utter crap. Letting everyone compete on an even field, at least to me, is the best for everyone, devs & players & steam.
     
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  26. stormwiz

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    Here's what we know: (3 years ago they announced Greenlight was just a temporary experiment.)
    1.2004 and 2014 = 3827 games were released on Steam
    2. In 2015 Steam stopped curating Greenlight submissions.
    3. 2015 = 2064
    4. 2016 = 4207
    5. 2017 Steam announced the death of Greenlight
    The real issues here are:
    1. Lack of human interaction or no curators.
    2.The system can be easily manipulate to pass Greenlight (a Facebook account and some friends)
    Things to considerate:
    1.Fee is non recoverable. ($100-$1000)
    2.No guarantee that shovelware will disappear, in fact now you can just buy your way in regardless of the quality.
    3.30% revenue cut.​

    Suggested Solutions:
    1. Demand that Steam brings back curators to stop the flow of garbage.
    2. Create an in-house marketplace for games for Unity. Unity and Epic have almost absolute power over the industry and can easily create this in a matter of months.
    3. Provide incentives to developers by bring down the 30% revenue cut that is now through out.​
    I think this is a really great idea for the following reasons.
    1. Just picture a really awesome game created with Unity and exclusive only here. If the game is that good people will find out where to buy and the rest is history. Last time I checked everyone and their mom knew about Google.
    2. It puts pressure on Steam to be more competitive and adopt fair pricing options for small companies or indies.
    3. Steam is not the only waterhole, but by cutting its supply further it slow down what looks like a monopoly in the making.​





     
  27. zombiegorilla

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    Indeed. I was just pointing out that the argument that a fee would be unfair to those who couldn't afford it, isn't really a thing as a change. If a $100 is huge burden to developer for economic or whatever reasons, $100 per game isn't a any more of a problem. As a market place, they point of putting a game on steam is to make money. If a developer can't make $100 from a game, and they are cash strapped, they shouldn't keep making games and find a better source of revenue.

    A one time fee for unlimited submissions ONLY benefits shovelware developers. If you have to pay for each submission, you will be compelled to make each submission at least good enough to recoup that fee. All you can eat, just entices to throw stuff at the wall in bulk and see what sticks.

    I would actually love to see the App store do that as well, charge a fee per game. That would lower the pump and dump developers who are reskinning like mad, hoping only to earn a couple of bucks per game.
     
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  28. Murgilod

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    o_O

    Unity and UE4 do not have "almost absolute power" at all and there's no reason to assume that stores dedicated specifically to games made with them would have any sort of pull in the market. Hell, as it stands now, Unity is hardly the most well-liked engine among consumers, who are the people you need to convince to actually buy your game.

    Saying "if the game is good, people will find out where to buy it" is almost impossibly naive. It's right up there with "good games will succeed based on merit alone." This idea doesn't put pressure on Steam because Steam is the pressure.
     
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  29. zombiegorilla

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    ^This. This is an important point that seems to confusing some people.

    I don't believe this change has anything to do with curation or raising the quality level of games on their platform. Steam wants to sell games. Greenlight is hot mess that doesn't get more games on the platform or do anything to improve games or validate sales potential. It's just a distraction and social drama and a resource sink.
     
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  30. Ostwind

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    Since you use the words "shovelware" and "garbage" and suggest curators to fix the problem, can you answer my earlier question how things would actually be curated without subjectivity and cost effectively? it's pretty complicated as Valve has said and they do not want to do it even with a cost. This leads back to the Greenlight idea where community decides but then again it will the same bribing, for the lols, etc.

    A high per product fee that is recoupable will do a far better job than Greenlight did and still leaves the door open for indies who are willing to invest and trust in their game, meaning it's most likely not garbage.
     
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  31. Billy4184

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    I gotta say, if you're going to sink months or years into a project that you don't think warrants the risk of spending a few hundred or even a few thousand bucks on getting it out there (that you can recoup), it's probably a pretty disfunctional way to spend your life - and steam shouldn't have to cater to disfunctional would-be developers.
     
  32. stormwiz

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    Steam is not the only fish in the sea. Yes is the biggest, but I'll say this again. If your game gets popular a simple search in Google will reveal where to buy. It does not matter if is a mama and papa shop, Amazon or Steam.
    Customers will seek your game out and not the other way around.
     
  33. QFSW

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    I mostly agree with the general consensus brought forwards by @neginfinity, @zombiegorilla, @hippocoder etc. when it comes to paid games. What about purely free to play games? Wouldn't it pretty much kill them off since you can't really make back the fee on a free game?
     
  34. TechDeveloper

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    I agree totally. I used to prefer purchasing from steam but its so hard for me to find a game thats actually fun. So if i see somewhere a game that looks fun, i will purchase it regardless of where its sold.
     
  35. stormwiz

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    On that note don't forget when you buy online using a credit card you are protected by visa/mastercard, etc. If you play the demo and like what you see then buy it. The lust or experience of buy from Steam is going to disappear and what your left is a awesome game exclusive from where ever. It will be like going to Ferrari dealer to get that special car. Steam will be a general place, but for that special game that everyone and their mom are talking about, you can go to Jonny's page and snatch it.
     
  36. neginfinity

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    Pay to Win games and Free to play games with cash shops will remain, obviously.

    Free/Freeware games (without strings attached) will be affected - at least there will be a significantly lower number of new releases.
     
  37. zombiegorilla

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    Free or "Free to Play"? Free to Play is a revenue model, and like premium, would be recoupable. Subs and in-game purchases go through steam. Are there truly free games (no in-app or ads)? If there are, not really sure what the point of releasing on to a market place if you aren't seeking to get a return on your investment, there are plenty of places to just share your game if it is just for funnsies.
     
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  38. QFSW

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    Cross Promotion? Not saying it is a good enough reason to release purely free games, but wondering if it happens. Like smaller free games to help build up a better reputation as a dev for their paid games. Guess it could be a similar argument to why are there free stuff on the asset store?
     
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  39. SteveJ

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    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple follow in Valve's footsteps on this one. "If you have to pay for each submission, you will be compelled to make each submission at least good enough to recoup that fee" is right on the money.

    This change to Steam HAS to happen in order to keep the industry functioning. We're on a serious downward slide at the moment.
     
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  40. Billy4184

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    I think it's fair to say that that should be treated differently, maybe as a different section or something. In any case, if Steam don't make any money from it they don't really have any reason to want it.

    In the case of the asset store, the free stuff can often provide functionality that doesn't make sense for Unity to incorporate into the engine, as well as Unity's own examples and tutorials to attract beginners to the engine. It all helps Unity to attract people and potentially get new customers subscribed.

    But for a game store, free stuff (by which I mean a game that makes neither the dev nor steam any money) doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense. They would likely represent a significantly lower quality than paid stuff on the store, making it not very useful for promotional purposes. Sales would probably work much better for this anyway.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
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  41. neginfinity

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    Yes, there are several. The point of releasing on steam is making it easier to access for users, streamlining update process, etc. There's also free (as in free beer) software on steam, like blender.

    It is unfortunate that steam doesn't differnetiate between "Free* to play" and "Free".
     
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  42. QFSW

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    Doesn't that argument still work? I don't think anyone would use say, the Android marketplace, if there was no free section in the first place? Just like free games can build up a reputation for the dev, they can attract and house people who play free games and could later be converted into paying customers?
     
  43. neginfinity

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    Ah, but a free game can have trading cards, backgrounds and emoticons. Those can be sold through the marketplace.

    Hmm....

    Although to be fair there are free games without any of this.

    However, it is in company interest to maintain illusion that they're interesting in some noble goal other than getting more money. If the platform does not welcome free developers, then people will go elsewhere. And when they make their first non-free game, it'll be also posted on that "elsewhere" site.

    There were several occurrences on steam when people started with a free game to built a fanbase and then released several products. One example I can think of is Sunrider series.
     
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  44. Billy4184

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    Well there are always free-to-play games, that's not what I mean. It would make perfect sense to charge a free-to-play dev the normal fee and profit from them.

    What I'm saying is there is no reason for steam to promote a game on their store that they can't make any money from (and the dev can't either). And these games would likely be low quality and/or unpolished and not help steam's reputation anyway.
     
  45. zombiegorilla

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    True, but the asset store is collateral to the main goal of selling the engine and services. It is useful to unity. Free games on steam isn't useful to steam, so charging is more of a hosting fee. Cross promoting is a good reason, so paying the fee would be worthwhile as a marketing investment.
     
  46. Aiursrage2k

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    A free game can have unlimited dlc items
     
  47. Billy4184

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    Well in that case the game should be free, but the dev should be charged the normal fee. Nothing wrong with that and obviously steam aren't going to chase away free-to-play games.

    I think the main problem is that if you have a very low barrier to entry, little or no curation and the ability for devs to put stuff up that isn't meant to be profitable, you'll just end up with Google play.
     
  48. Unknown86793241

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    Steam wants to become THE marketplace not a premium marketplace. Direct is going to allow them to bring content to the market faster not cull out potential profits.

    The issues isn't the amount of content on steam or the quality of the products. Its making it easier for users to find the content they want. As hard as it is to understand a game or product you may consider poor is most likely very appealing to someone else...successful or not.
     
  49. GarBenjamin

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    This is also exactly how I planned to enter the market there. Free games at first and then when enough of a community is built up make first paid game. But I kind of veered off course, lost interest or something. I do think it is a solid plan though.
     
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  50. neginfinity

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    They can make money from any game, free or not.

    A person downloading steam client to install a free game will see front page every time they launch the client, with suggestions, advertising, and all. They become a steam user, and will be much more likely to buy stuff from service in the future.

    Low-quality content does not affect reputation, as long as the store is properly filtered and controls front page content. Valve seems to be doing great job here (see my earlier post about 2 junk suggestions total).

    Basically, as a store you would not want to have a "high quality content only". You would want all games in existence to be on your store, and you would want customers to be happy about their experience with the store, and you want your suggestions to be relevant to their interests.

    Everything can be converted into another source of profit.

    At least that's the way I see it.
     
    GarBenjamin, Ryiah, Socrates and 3 others like this.