Steam Direct is Steam’s successor to Steam Greenlight — which was used by many developers to bring their games to Steam. First announced in February, Valve had not, at the time zeroed in on how much Steam Direct would cost for developers to use the platform. After much consideration, Steam Direct will cost $100 (around Rs. 6,428).
“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,” a post from Valve reads. It goes on to say that an element of human curation would be infused into Steam’s processes in terms of content discovery.
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“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,” the post continues. “We believe that if we inject human thinking into the Store algorithm, while at the same time increasing the transparency of its output, we’ll have created a public process that will incrementally drive the Store to better serve everyone using it.”
Furthermore, the company explained that the Steam Curators program will have a few changes. This includes showing YouTube videos alongside their curations, creating personal lists for games allowing for specific recommendations on a type of game or body of work from a specific developer. Valve is also looking at improving curator access to games pre-release, allowing for better discovery. But perhaps what’s most telling, is the confidence in letting buyers view Steam through curators.
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“At the same time, we’re making it easier for players to use Curators to help them browse the Store. Since they’re an opt-in feature, we’ve decided 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,” the post reads.
As usual, no date has been set for these changes, but safe to say they should roll out this year with Valve stating its next post would focus on sunsetting Steam Greenlight and timing Steam Direct’s release.