Let’s Look At Steam Direct

Let’s Look At Steam Direct

Steam Direct, Valve’s replacement of Steam Greenlight, has launched. announced with a community blog post detailing the what, why, when and how.

A lot of indie developers used Steam Greenlight, and while the marketplace had certainly become overcrowded and full of less than quality entries and the move to Steam Direct is ultimately a step in the right direction, I can’t help but feel some developers  may feel a little lost or unsure of what needs to happen next.

So, to help combat that unease, here’s a brief rundown of what the submission process looks like under Steam Direct (all this info can be found on the Steamworks page here)

Here is what you’ll need before starting the process:

  • Accurate bank information – Routing number, bank account number, and bank address (Note that the account holder name on your bank account must match the name of your company. If you don’t yet have a bank account established for your business, you will need to open one before you can proceed.)
  • Tax information –  The information you need in order to complete the tax questionnaire will depend on whether you are signing up as an individual or as a company, and where you or your company is located.  US citizens and corporations will need information similar to that found on form W-9. Citizens and corporations in a country with US tax treaty status will need information similar to that found on form W-8BEN.
  • App Submission Fee – You will need to pay a $100.00 fee for each product you wish to distribute via Steam Direct. You can pay this fee with any payment method supported by Steam in your region.  This fee is not refundable, but will be recoupable in the payment made after your product has at least $1,000.00 Adjusted Gross Revenue for Steam Store and in-app purchases. Payment of revenue from sales and repayment of fee may be withheld if deposit payment is charged-back, refunded, or otherwise identified as fraudulent.

Once you have those three pieces (and, of course, a game!) , you’ll be ready to start the process. Here are the 7 major steps of launching a title through Steam Direct:

  1. Sign the digital paperwork.

  2. Pay the App Submission Fee

  3. Complete the paperwork with your bank and tax information as well as identity verification

  4. Build your store page, upload your builds, configure any Steamworks features, and enter desired pricing.

  5. A brief review process where Steam runs your game, looks at your store page, and checks that it is configured correctly and running as expected and not doing anything harmful. This takes between 1-5 days.

  6. There are a couple of additional timing requirements before you can release your first few titles on Steam:

    – A 30-day waiting period between when you paid the app fee and when you can release your game. This gives Steam time to review your information and confirm that they know who they’re doing business with.

    – You’ll need to prepare your store page and put up a publicly-visible ‘coming soon’ page for at least two weeks. This will help you start building your audience of interested customers that can wishlist your game or participate in discussions. This also gives you the opportunity to practice how you talk about your product so that you can have the best presentation when you hit the ‘release’ button.

  7. Done. The release controls are now in your hands and you can update whenever you want.


It’s very nice to see Valve having a more hands on approach to vetting submissions to Steam Direct, though only time will tell if they have devoted the proper resources and man power to the process.

What are your thoughts on the process? Let us know in the comments below! What’s going to be a hurdle for you? What is a welcome change?



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Written by
Editor-in-Chief of IndieHangover.com. With a soft spot for epics, sagas and tales of all types, Jacob approaches games as ways to tell stories. He's particularly interested in indie games because of the freedom they have to tell different stories, often in more interesting and innovative ways than Triple A titles.