Valve sets Steam Direct self-publishing fee at $100

Gwen Vasquez
June 3, 2017

Steam has announced that its Greenlight successor - Steam Direct - will require developers to pay a $100 recoupable publishing fee per game submitted. Thankfully, Steam Direct will be coming in as the replacement for this outdated platform.

There were rational & convincing arguments made for both ends of the $100-$5000 spectrum we mentioned. However, Steam Direct's $100 fee will be recoupable - Valve keeps the money only if a game's revenue doesn't exceed that amount.

Tweaks to the Steam Curators programme will complement this effort. Initially, Valve wanted to set the publishing fee at $500, but these conversations convinced the company to "aim for the lowest barrier to developers as possible". Valve was considering a fee somewhere between $100 and $5000. 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 created to help the Store algorithm become better at helping you sift through games. It said that engineers will continue to work on features that make the Steam algorithm better at sorting through games, while finding places that human interaction can assist in the process.

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By removing the Greenlight approval process, it seems probable that the number of Steam releases-which has been exploding in recent years-will only rise further. Part of that will entail "look [ing] 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".

Valve is also making some changes to the Steam Curators program, which lets individuals an organization make recommendations to help other discover games they might like. Going forward, curators will be able to show YouTube videos alongside their curations, and create personal lists of games. The Store algorithm will help players separate the wheat from the chaff.

In the next (and final) post about these changes, Valve says they will cover "the sunsetting of Greenlight, and the timing for the release of Steam Direct". "Since they're an opt-in feature, we've chose to give Curators more visibility throughout the Store as a whole, so if you're following a Curator, you'll see their thoughts in new places, and with higher prominence".

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