Valve Sets Steam Direct Publishing Fee at $100

Valve Sets Steam Direct Publishing Fee at $100

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It will cost companies $100 to put a game on Steam under the new Steam Direct program.

Steam announced back in February that it was going to shut down Steam Greenlight and replace it with a new program known as Steam Direct. Instead of having community voting on games, Direct would be an application process that charged a flt, recoupable fee for each game submitted.

Valve had previously said that the fee was still under discussion, and in its post today, said that "Our internal thinking beforehand had us hovering around the $500 mark, but the community conversation really challenged us to justify why the fee wasn't as low as possible, and to think about what we could do to make a low fee work.

"So in the end, 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."

Alongside announcing the fee, Valve also outlined some coming update to its Curator program, including, "expanding the kinds of content that Curators can create, allowing them to provide more information to players who are thinking about buying a game, and improving the tools to allow them to easily manage all their recommendations."

Those tools will include allowing curators to post external content, like YouTube videos, and the ability to create custom lists of games. You can also expect to see curator content in more places on the store. Valve also plans to help Curators get early access to more games, in an effort to have more Curator content.

There's still no word on when Steam Direct will actually go live, but Valve says it will be releasing that information in its next blog update.

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Let's hope this is enough to make a significant difference. $100 per game is already an improvement over $100 per account under Greenlight, which allowed so-called devs to pay the fee once and then spam as many asset flips as they wanted.

P.S. Thanks

Well at least it's better than having to pay $5000 per game as some internal suggestions at Valve were saying. All I'm curious about now though is whether games submitted through Direct have to be in a significantly complete state before they are listed on the store or if they can come in as "Early Access" titles.

$100 is absolutely nothing, though to be fair I'm not sure even $5000 is anything.

https://steamspy.com/app/360590

A literal asset flip with a user score of 14%, that exists purely for trading cards, has 22k owners.

Gotcha. So the small developers will need to pay additional sums in order for their games to even appear on the store front.

Chaosian:
$100 is absolutely nothing, though to be fair I'm not sure even $5000 is anything.

https://steamspy.com/app/360590

A literal asset flip with a user score of 14%, that exists purely for trading cards, has 22k owners.

On the other hand:

https://steamspy.com/app/522040

A game which the developer created a custom engine for and which has a 98 % approval rating, has 2k owners.

Assuming they got to keep all from their sales(they didn't, Valve isn't a charity) that nets $6000. So a $5000 fee would hurt developers.

Aww crap, this is way too low, this won't stop the deluge of shit on Steam at all.

How about no cost but game need to see X amount in a certain amount of time or everyone get refunded and the game is off steam?

Chaosian:
$100 is absolutely nothing, though to be fair I'm not sure even $5000 is anything.

https://steamspy.com/app/360590

A literal asset flip with a user score of 14%, that exists purely for trading cards, has 22k owners.

Don't the games that thrive on just trading cards just hand out copies like crazy? Both free and for literally pennies. I don't know if this is the case for this game, but I've heard that's the case. And it really makes sense - if you want to make money off trading cards (as a developer) you want as many copies of the game out there. You may as well throw free ones around or participate in some bundles that sell a bunch of games for something like a dollar. Not Humble, but things like IndieGala literally constantly having a a sale on at least one (usually more) bundle of 10-ish games at a time.

$100 isn't going to do anything but line Valve's pockets with cash. I've said this before, and I'll say it again - Videos of both the game in development and a studio tour with insight into who's doing what say a lot more about the legitimacy of both the game and its creators than a $100 bill being given to prove such. (Not to mention that still does not solve the trading card problem...)

I do think the 400-500 dollar range would be hefty enough that studios would think twice before handing out an unfinished/crap product....

however, I could see it being where devs start charging 5-10 bucks more for their games to try to offset that "X" amount of money they lost at the beginning, and if collectively alot of them started doing that, then the money ends up coming from us in the end rather than the dev or valve.

thankfully there is enough competition on the market right now that I don't think that'll happen, just a thought if they ever increased the fee to thousands of dollars so very few games started to appear on steam.

You guys all realize this is just the first step in curbing the super shitty dumping of games on Steam? Valve's got a whoolleee list of changes they're gonna implement besides this one.

Dr.Awkward:
$100 isn't going to do anything but line Valve's pockets with cash. I've said this before, and I'll say it again - Videos of both the game in development and a studio tour with insight into who's doing what say a lot more about the legitimacy of both the game and its creators than a $100 bill being given to prove such.

It's likely the most efficient way to do it, though. I don't think even Valve has the resources to sift through all the videos they'd be receiving from prospective developers hoping to get their game on Steam and actually put any effort into the process.

Wasn't the Greenlight fee already $100? Because that's what Greenlight needed: even less supervision and quality control?

EDIT: Sorry; I jumped the gun there. Still cynical about Steam, though.

Dr.Awkward:
$100 isn't going to do anything but line Valve's pockets with cash. I've said this before, and I'll say it again - Videos of both the game in development and a studio tour with insight into who's doing what say a lot more about the legitimacy of both the game and its creators than a $100 bill being given to prove such. (Not to mention that still does not solve the trading card problem...)

Dunno man. I'm currently working a solo project which I don't plan on selling since it's just an experiment, but the "studio" where I work is basically my bedroom. And I assume that's the case for almost all solo projects which have given us some of the most beloved indie games out there.

A video of working on the game can also be easily faked.

No matter what Valve does, it will hurt legit devs trying to make a good game.

DoPo:

Chaosian:
$100 is absolutely nothing, though to be fair I'm not sure even $5000 is anything.

https://steamspy.com/app/360590

A literal asset flip with a user score of 14%, that exists purely for trading cards, has 22k owners.

Don't the games that thrive on just trading cards just hand out copies like crazy? Both free and for literally pennies. I don't know if this is the case for this game, but I've heard that's the case. And it really makes sense - if you want to make money off trading cards (as a developer) you want as many copies of the game out there. You may as well throw free ones around or participate in some bundles that sell a bunch of games for something like a dollar. Not Humble, but things like IndieGala literally constantly having a a sale on at least one (usually more) bundle of 10-ish games at a time.

Except that Steam is apparently taking the Nerf bat to trading cards on new games. From the sound of it, nobody will be getting card drops until a certain number of copies are purchased through Steam. Once that threshold is reached, everyone who already owns and has played the game enough will be awarded their cards retroactively. So devs can generate all the keys they want, they won't count as sales so they won't count towards unlocking the cards.

http://steamcommunity.com/games/593110/announcements/detail/1954971077935370845

Dr.Awkward:
$100 isn't going to do anything but line Valve's pockets with cash.

The fee is recoupable, so I doubt it's going to make Valve lots of cash.

J.McMillen:

DoPo:

Chaosian:
$100 is absolutely nothing, though to be fair I'm not sure even $5000 is anything.

https://steamspy.com/app/360590

A literal asset flip with a user score of 14%, that exists purely for trading cards, has 22k owners.

Don't the games that thrive on just trading cards just hand out copies like crazy? Both free and for literally pennies. I don't know if this is the case for this game, but I've heard that's the case. And it really makes sense - if you want to make money off trading cards (as a developer) you want as many copies of the game out there. You may as well throw free ones around or participate in some bundles that sell a bunch of games for something like a dollar. Not Humble, but things like IndieGala literally constantly having a a sale on at least one (usually more) bundle of 10-ish games at a time.

Except that Steam is apparently taking the Nerf bat to trading cards on new games. From the sound of it, nobody will be getting card drops until a certain number of copies are purchased through Steam. Once that threshold is reached, everyone who already owns and has played the game enough will be awarded their cards retroactively. So devs can generate all the keys they want, they won't count as sales so they won't count towards unlocking the cards.

http://steamcommunity.com/games/593110/announcements/detail/1954971077935370845

That is a change that is going to be made, I was discussing a game that is already released.

gmaverick019:
I do think the 400-500 dollar range would be hefty enough that studios would think twice before handing out an unfinished/crap product....

however, I could see it being where devs start charging 5-10 bucks more for their games to try to offset that "X" amount of money they lost at the beginning, and if collectively alot of them started doing that, then the money ends up coming from us in the end rather than the dev or valve.

thankfully there is enough competition on the market right now that I don't think that'll happen, just a thought if they ever increased the fee to thousands of dollars so very few games started to appear on steam.

I don't see how charging $5-10 more can really help the sales of a game. In my opinion, the dev would rather shift as many copies as possible, especially if a $100 is so much for them it is going to seriously impact their bottom line.

Nile McMorrow:
Well at least it's better than having to pay $5000 per game as some internal suggestions at Valve were saying. All I'm curious about now though is whether games submitted through Direct have to be in a significantly complete state before they are listed on the store or if they can come in as "Early Access" titles.

They have to be complete or flagged as EAcc. One or the other. No more concept pitches. DIrect is actually purchasing. which while it may spike the number Eacc games it's not goiung to be a cocnern to those users who don't feel the need to be first on the bandwagon.

The thing about the fee structure is. Valve has the ability to fine tune it to generate the desired effect. They can increase it, decrease it, apply it expponentially ($100 for the first game, $200 for the second game if the first one hasn't recouped, $400 for the 3rd game if neither the first or second have recouped, etc). Also since they're tracking revenue through steam.. gkeys peurchased on other sites will have no change on your recoup. So giving away keys won't work, and given the changes to trading cards, trading cards won't really be dropped either, so that nerfs that secondary revenue stream.

The idea ius devs will actually have to produce games people consider worth playing, not just games for card farmers.

The sad truth of this, is that it shows that the root problem with the gaming iundustry are gamers themselves.. Valve gave gamers a chance to say what games *they* wanted to see up on steam and...well gamers turned out to be the cheapest of vote whores I've ever seen.

Fulbert:

gmaverick019:
I do think the 400-500 dollar range would be hefty enough that studios would think twice before handing out an unfinished/crap product....

however, I could see it being where devs start charging 5-10 bucks more for their games to try to offset that "X" amount of money they lost at the beginning, and if collectively alot of them started doing that, then the money ends up coming from us in the end rather than the dev or valve.

thankfully there is enough competition on the market right now that I don't think that'll happen, just a thought if they ever increased the fee to thousands of dollars so very few games started to appear on steam.

I don't see how charging $5-10 more can really help the sales of a game. In my opinion, the dev would rather shift as many copies as possible, especially if a $100 is so much for them it is going to seriously impact their bottom line.

but this happens all the time in other industries, some sort of tax or new idea gets introduced, and the companies (a.k.a. devs/pubs) raise their prices to reflect that, and it ends up just falling onto the consumer paying the difference/tools/etc...

Hell alot of video games do this pre-maturely, they *know* most people won't buy their games until they see a placebo "X% off sale!", so they'll purposefully make games cost 10-20 bucks more, then when the sale hits, people will buy it at the price the pubs/devs wanted anyways, they are just using used car salesmen tricks.

this is all conjecture, I'm not calling doom/gloom, just figure it's a thought to consider when gauging how much a fee should be and where the fee should go.

gmaverick019:

Fulbert:

gmaverick019:
I do think the 400-500 dollar range would be hefty enough that studios would think twice before handing out an unfinished/crap product....

however, I could see it being where devs start charging 5-10 bucks more for their games to try to offset that "X" amount of money they lost at the beginning, and if collectively alot of them started doing that, then the money ends up coming from us in the end rather than the dev or valve.

thankfully there is enough competition on the market right now that I don't think that'll happen, just a thought if they ever increased the fee to thousands of dollars so very few games started to appear on steam.

I don't see how charging $5-10 more can really help the sales of a game. In my opinion, the dev would rather shift as many copies as possible, especially if a $100 is so much for them it is going to seriously impact their bottom line.

but this happens all the time in other industries, some sort of tax or new idea gets introduced, and the companies (a.k.a. devs/pubs) raise their prices to reflect that, and it ends up just falling onto the consumer paying the difference/tools/etc...

Hell alot of video games do this pre-maturely, they *know* most people won't buy their games until they see a placebo "X% off sale!", so they'll purposefully make games cost 10-20 bucks more, then when the sale hits, people will buy it at the price the pubs/devs wanted anyways, they are just using used car salesmen tricks.

this is all conjecture, I'm not calling doom/gloom, just figure it's a thought to consider when gauging how much a fee should be and where the fee should go.

I believe we as consumers can manage to collectively bear the added cost of $100 Steam submission fee. It's not that much money, even for a reasonably small indie dev. Asset flips will probably be rendered unfeasible when you have to pay this much to submit a game to Steam, but an actual game developer spend a lot of money and effort on the development anyway so $100 probably won't add much to the budget. Also, this fee is recuperable, if the above posters are to be believed, so it's not even a loss in the long run.

Apparently the fee is going to be refunded if you reach $1000 in sales. So, even from a "costs passed on" perspective, the only thing going on is that people who buy games paying into the fewer than $1000 are paying for the $100. Er. Assuming the sales even reaches the ~$150 required for Steam to even give anything back (you have to make $100 after Steam's 30% cut to get paid, if I understand it correctly)... I wonder how many games even fall into that bracket?

One of the 'tricks' that I recall Totalbiscuit talking about for this new store setup, is that Valve might restrict card production until a game has a certain number of players, and perhaps a certain minimum level of time played... more so than right now.

this would kill off card-farming games

Chaosian:
$100 is absolutely nothing, though to be fair I'm not sure even $5000 is anything.

https://steamspy.com/app/360590

A literal asset flip with a user score of 14%, that exists purely for trading cards, has 22k owners.

Bear in mind, most of those owners probably got the game for 10c in a bundle.

 

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