Broax Feb 11, 2013 @ 1:54pm
How would you remove the "bottleneck" greenlight is?
Hey everyone!

If you've watched the Gabe's presentation on DICE[1] you're probably talking about his wishes to produce a HL/Portal movie with JJ Abrams but I personally don't nurture very strong feelings for that as this kinds of movies usually fail (I know Gabe Newell is different and Valve isn't Konami, but still).

Anyway, what really caught my attention (as you might deduce from the title) is Valve's plans to open up the Steam store to every developer and game. Specifically how he described Steam as a bottleneck (and later even as a dictatorship[2]) implying the greenlight system is broken and needs to be removed (so soon after it launched nonetheless).

I would like everyone interested in this topic to jump in the discussion and give your interpretation on how this should be handled. Why? Because if it's not done well enough it risks Steam becoming a shovelware store full of mindless puzzle games, pay-to-win social "experiences" and amateurish clones of successful games. Like the app stores of smartphones.

Not to mention a petri dish of every kind of virus, worm, keylogger and phishing scam known to humanity!

This could hurt usability of the Steam store (spending a good half-hour trying to find a specific game) ruining its reputation and credibility and therefore the amazing system we all know and love.

I have my own ideas (obviously) but I'm interested in yours.

Thanks for reading! =)

[1] Link for the video if you haven't seen it yet: http://youtu.be/PeYxKIDGh8I
[2] Link for the article quoting Gabe comparison of Steam to a dictatorship: {LINK REMOVED - Please don't spam, and be wary of scams.}http://bit.ly/Wfr7Vs
Showing 1-15 of 15 comments
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Dreakon Feb 11, 2013 @ 3:41pm 
Originally posted by Broax:
This could hurt usability of the Steam store (spending a good half-hour trying to find a specific game) ruining its reputation and credibility and therefore the amazing system we all know and love.
I think I would rather have an open system where you take in everything (within reason) and allow common sense and word-of-mouth to squash bad games and propel good ones... rather than a closed system that only allows "good games" based on arbitrary criteria and what the higher-ups feel would be best for Steam's reputation and credibility.

There are two (or more) perfectly good consoles you can play on if you prefer that.
Last edited by Dreakon; Feb 11, 2013 @ 3:44pm
Satoru Feb 11, 2013 @ 4:00pm 
So on the one hand people want to get rid of Greenlight

On the other hand they blame steam for not being the QA dept of every developer on the planet.
Broax Feb 11, 2013 @ 4:26pm 
Originally posted by Dreakon:
I think I would rather have an open system where you take in everything (within reason) and allow common sense and word-of-mouth to squash bad games and propel good ones... rather than a closed system that only allows "good games" based on arbitrary criteria and what the higher-ups feel would be best for Steam's reputation and credibility.

There are two (or more) perfectly good consoles you can play on if you prefer that.

Maybe you're right... Maybe I've been playing on the xbox for too long (long enough to get used to a "safe" and closed system). The thing is, I like Steam so much I really wouldn't like for it to become some horrible mesh of terrible games. But it does have a strong community of users, employees, mods and admins which might make this work the right way... =)

Originally posted by Satoru:
So on the one hand people want to get rid of Greenlight

On the other hand they blame steam for not being the QA dept of every developer on the planet.

I'm not sure what you mean... I never said I wanted greenlight to end (Gabe said that, not me) nor did I say I wish for valve to answer for the devs. I just want to make sure there's a reasonable amount of regulation regarding new games entering steam. Specifically blocking games that either lie/deceive its players for profit or games that only serve to infect you with viruses.

But like I said to Dreakon, I can see how regulating games for their quality might be arbitrary and possibly close steam even more (transforming it in a new XBLA).
Chicago Ted Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:06pm 
Originally posted by Dreakon:
Originally posted by Broax:
This could hurt usability of the Steam store (spending a good half-hour trying to find a specific game) ruining its reputation and credibility and therefore the amazing system we all know and love.
I think I would rather have an open system where you take in everything (within reason) and allow common sense and word-of-mouth to squash bad games and propel good ones... rather than a closed system that only allows "good games" based on arbitrary criteria and what the higher-ups feel would be best for Steam's reputation and credibility.

There are two (or more) perfectly good consoles you can play on if you prefer that.

I would far rather that Steam remained a curated store. Greenlight already gave us a good indication of just how quickly Steam becomes shoddy if any old half-finished garbage is allowed on Steam (just take a look at the angry reaction to Greenlight games like Towns or Cortex Command).

As a software developer myself, I always used to dream of getting a game on Steam. Getting on Steam meant that you'd made it to the big time. The Steam-provided forums (now dead and replaced with this terrible 'geef me gamez pl0x/discussions' system), Steam-provided sales analysis and market advice (thankfully, still active), and happy market made getting on Steam special. As Steam becomes less curated, the market will become less willing to take a punt on Steam's indie games, because the average quality of those games will steadily decline. As a result, devs like myself will no longer aspire to Steam, and will instead become as wary of it as many devs are of the Apple store (another open market filled with terrible quality junk).

Open alternatives to Steam exist, which allow any old rubbish a point of sale (I won't name and shame those services here). I'd be sad to see Steam go down that route, both as a customer and a dev. As a customer, I like the fact that I can currently trust Steam's curated market to provide games that won't disappoint too heavily (as long as I avoid Greenlight games).

Maybe the solution is to provide two distinct markets on Steam, perhaps on two totally separate platforms? Leave Steam as the high-end, curated service that it is, and set up a second platform which is more open. So I guess my take on it is that curated is good for both the developer and the customer.
Dreakon Feb 11, 2013 @ 5:46pm 
Originally posted by Chicago Ted:
Greenlight already gave us a good indication of just how quickly Steam becomes shoddy if any old half-finished garbage is allowed on Steam (just take a look at the angry reaction to Greenlight games like Towns or Cortex Command).
Blaming Greenlight for providing you with sketchy, sub-par games is like blaming the stockmarket because you picked up sketchy, sub-par stock. These games are often from small, unproven developers looking to break into the scene. This usually means the games won't be very good... but that's to be expected, to an extent. For every 100 pieces of hot garbage, there will be a handful of hidden gems and developers that truly deserve to be successful. Giving those good developers a legitimate shot was probably the goal with Greenlight, and why it's just a small cog in a bigger, more "curated" Steam platform. And kind of why I like it.

In the end though, if a game has that Greenlight stamp on it, you should go in incredibly skeptical. So much so that only those that... a) want to take a chance and/or b) want to support that particular developer... are the ones buying the games.

It's really not the Greenlight's fault people go in with high expectations, do absolutely no research and throw money at the first game that looks kinda neat.

You could argue it's a system that's doomed to failure just because people are impulsive, stupid and vocal... but frankly I'm of the mindset that those people probably don't deserve their money anyways.
Last edited by Dreakon; Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:30pm
Chicago Ted Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:39pm 
Originally posted by Dreakon:
In the end though, if a game has that Greenlight stamp on it, you should go in incredibly skeptical. So much so that only those that... a) want to take a chance and/or b) want to support that particular developer... are the ones buying the games.

Which is precisely why I advocate creating a separate system to Steam which offer a less curated experience, a sort of 'unsafe' companion system. Rather than confusing the brand image of Steam as a safe, curated store, they should just have a separate store altogether which markets these less curated games.

Taking an attitude that it's the customer's fault that they've bought a dud in an ostensibly curated store misses the point of a curated store. Worse, taking a curated store and then randomly making a small section of it non-curated just ruins the brand image and confuses the customer; there's a reason that Waitrose runs its heavily curated store 'Peter Jones' under a different name.

Simply put, if Steam wants to keep a curated image then Greenlight's got to make some drastic changes, else if it doesn't want a curated image then Greenlight (or some such system) needs to become the norm. I just hope that Steam realizes that its curated store is a major reason that it's been so popular over the past few years.

EDIT: Typo
Last edited by Chicago Ted; Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:42pm
Dreakon Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:55pm 
Steam became very popular because of it's low prices, user-friendly (non-bloated) client and Valve's overall dedication to the PC platform. Very little of that has to do with the fact they sell the same games as Gamestop.

Frankly, I'm tired of everyone needing to be protected. You call it confusion, I call it stupidity. There's no guarantee you'll like any game you buy, giving you more options at both ends of the spectrum shouldn't be considered a bad thing.
Last edited by Dreakon; Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:59pm
Satoru Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:57pm 
My point was that people simultaneously want Steam to open its doors, and to QA everything so they can complain when stuff like WarZ or Ace of Spades is forced upon them.

Not to mention have you SEEN some of the junk on Greenlight? I'm not talkinga bout 'stuff that isn't in my genre' I mean stuff that is unobjectively bad. And there isa lot of it unfortunately.
Last edited by Satoru; Feb 11, 2013 @ 6:59pm
Dreakon Feb 11, 2013 @ 7:01pm 
Originally posted by Satoru:
when stuff like WarZ or Ace of Spades is forced upon them.
Here's a thought... DON'T BUY IT! Or at least research it first. No one is forcing anything on you.

If people used their heads more than their wallets on here...
Last edited by Dreakon; Feb 11, 2013 @ 7:02pm
Chicago Ted Feb 11, 2013 @ 7:19pm 
Originally posted by Dreakon:
Steam became very popular because of it's low prices, user-friendly (non-bloated) client and Valve's overall dedication to the PC platform. Very little of that has to do with the fact they sell the same games as Gamestop.

Frankly, I'm tired of everyone needing to be protected. You call it confusion, I call it stupidity. There's no guarantee you'll like any game you buy, giving you more options at both ends of the spectrum shouldn't be considered a bad thing.

Pray tell how creating a separate system would prevent the greater choice aspect of making Steam more open? As far as I can see, creating a separate, more open system would satisfy both the clients who want a curated market and the ones who do not. Simply making Steam open will only satisfy one type of client.

Please show me the error in my logic.

Originally posted by Satoru:
My point was that people simultaneously want Steam to open its doors, and to QA everything so they can complain when stuff like WarZ or Ace of Spades is forced upon them.

Not to mention have you SEEN some of the junk on Greenlight? I'm not talkinga bout 'stuff that isn't in my genre' I mean stuff that is unobjectively bad. And there isa lot of it unfortunately.

I don't want Steam to open its doors. I think you're arguing against a strawman argument that no-one's actually put forward. I don't think anyone in this thread has argued for an open Steam that's still as protected as the current, curated Steam.
Dreakon Feb 11, 2013 @ 7:31pm 
Originally posted by Chicago Ted:
Pray tell how creating a separate system would prevent the greater choice aspect of making Steam more open? As far as I can see, creating a separate, more open system would satisfy both the clients who want a curated market and the ones who do not. Simply making Steam open will only satisfy one type of client.

Please show me the error in my logic.
I don't necessarily disagree with that idea, I'm sure it would work perfectly fine. I do however think that your reasoning behind suggesting it perpetuates stupidity and poor purchasing practices on behalf of the consumer, who do (should) take at least some responsibility in what they choose to spend their money on.

Right now this "separate system" already exists. Greenlit games are marked as such. People are apparently just too... confused... to make note of that before hurling fistful's of cash at games.
Last edited by Dreakon; Feb 11, 2013 @ 7:37pm
Chicago Ted Feb 11, 2013 @ 9:22pm 
Originally posted by Dreakon:
I don't necessarily disagree with that idea, I'm sure it would work perfectly fine. I do however think that your reasoning behind suggesting it perpetuates stupidity and poor purchasing practices on behalf of the consumer, who do (should) take at least some responsibility in what they choose to spend their money on.

Right now this "separate system" already exists. Greenlit games are marked as such. People are apparently just too... confused... to make note of that before hurling fistful's of cash at games.

Perhaps so, but my argument is that Steam has spent many years specifically creating a market place that allows 'stupid' purchases. By only accepting half-decent, finished games, Steam has ensured that people can make impulse purchases safely. This benefits both the customer and the developer -- especially for indie games -- because it ensures that the customer is likelier to purchase less famous games, and is likelier to enjoy them when they do.

I simply fail to see any benefit to destroying this system. It won't help the developers making decent games that'd have got onto Steam anyway (in fact, it would drive developers like myself away from the service entirely), and it won't help the customers since they'd be far likelier to find terrible games than good games in a non-curated store.

Ignoring a mutual liking for seeing stupidity punished, what's the actual benefit of opening Steam to all sorts of crud?
­­­­­­Τhe Rolling Oven Turkey Feb 11, 2013 @ 9:38pm 
Very easy to remove the bottleneck. Automatically authorize everyone to setup a storefront for their game as soon as they hit the required number of thumbs. It can happen any day at any hour.

None of this monthly nonsense.

What I don't want to see is valve removing themselves as the gate guardian of the steam platform. I do not want to see the floodgates open, and I most definitely don't want to see the steam platform turning in to the crap that is the playstore or appstore.

If Valve does open the floodgates, I fully expect a working user review system in place. One which the user can rank and add an amazon like review to each and every game they purchase.
Last edited by ­­­­­­Τhe Rolling Oven Turkey; Feb 11, 2013 @ 9:44pm
Delph Feb 11, 2013 @ 9:48pm 
Personally I'm pretty happy with Steam as it is at the moment. You don't want it turning into something like Desura where it is much easier for games to make it onto the storefront. It leads to overcrowding and the good games are hidden in amongst a lot of crap. And Desura is still a curated experience. It would be so much worse if it turned into something like Apple's appstore.
Chicago Ted Feb 11, 2013 @ 9:56pm 
Originally posted by Delph:
It would be so much worse if it turned into something like Apple's appstore.

Amen. That'd be Steam's death knell for me personally.
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Date Posted: Feb 11, 2013 @ 1:54pm
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