We finally have an answer of how much it will cost game developers to self-publish a game on Steam’s replacement for Greenlight: $100
Valve detailed the reasoning for the fee in a community announcement out today:
We’ve decided we’re going to aim for the lowest barrier to developers as possible, with a $100 recoupable publishing fee per game, while at the same time work on features designed to help the Store algorithm become better at helping you sift through games. We’re going to look for specific places where human eyes can be injected into the Store algorithm, to ensure that it is working as intended, and to ensure it doesn’t miss something interesting. We’re also going to closely monitor the kinds of game submissions we’re receiving, so that we’re ready to implement more features like the the Trading Card changes we covered in the last blog post, which aim to reduce the financial incentives for bad actors to game the store algorithm.
Keep in mind that, unlike the current system on Steam Greenlight, developers will have to pay the fee for each game they plan to release. Currently, Steam Greenlight is set up so that developers pay $100 once and can then publish as many titles as they wish. It is nice to see that the $100 fee for publishing a game through Steam Direct will be recoupable, as Valve only hangs on to the money if a game’s revenue does not exceed that $100 cost.
In the February announcement of intent, Valve had said that they were considering ” a range…from as low as $100 to as high as $5,000″, which I think was a very self defeating statement in terms of support for a new system. an entry fee of $5,000 would have crippled Steam as a marketplace for indie games, but $100 means that Steam Direct will be a relatively open service to most developers.
It also means Steam is still leaving itself open to a whole to of asset flips and shovelware with such a low barrier to entry, but if they can utilize the curators system in the way they are planning to, they may be able to cut down on this.
What do you think of this? If you’re a developer, how is this going to affect you? Let us know in the comments below.