One of the most common conversations I had at PAX East 2012 was with indies who were trying to get their title onto Steam. They were all in different stages of the process, from “waiting for their material to be reviewed” to “trying to get Valve to respond to their emails”. There were so many young people with interesting projects, and they were sinking a lot of time and effort into trying to get through the Valve gatekeepers instead of building, polishing, or marketing their game.
The problem is that Steam is the best place for an indie to be, there are a lot of indies, and Valve can’t handle the volume of applicants. So when Steam announced Project Greenlight just a few months later, I was very excited. However, Chris makes some really interesting points about Greenlight here:
While we’re talking about Greenlight and its barriers to entry, I should probably mention Organ Trail, which you might remember from my PAX write-up. It’s trying to get Green-lit, and currently has 6% of the required votes.
Look at the voting page. I can go to the page and vote yes, but I can’t see how well the game works or how much it will cost. You’re literally casting your vote based on, “Do you like this gameplay synopsis and screenshots?” This sort of superficial judgement is already going on in the AAA gaming industry, and that type of simplistic thinking is exactly what we’re fleeing from when we turn to indies.
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