Valve has announced a new platform known as Greenlight, which will allow fans to vote on what games they want added to the Steam digital download service. The idea is to make it possible for fans of certain niche games to get them added to the store and to remove the headache from Valve about deciding without much public input, what would sell well.
“It’s going to solve the business problem of prioritising release,” said development head at Valve, Jason Holtman, during his keynote presentation. “It’s going to be able to collect and publish the information. All of a sudden, you need to be able to see what’s coming up and you need to be able to have fans and people rating and looking at it.
He also said he hopes it will bring more game makers to Steam, ones that might have avoided it previously. “We think it’s going to encourage this virtuous development cycle. The problem we had of, how do we encourage somebody when they’re not done developing yet? This we think will work. We think a bunch of people will be looking at it going, oh my gosh, I want that.”
“As people are looking at it, the person creating it needs to see if they’re getting 5000 votes or 6000 votes or what the comments look like. Those are all things you can’t do on a one-to-one hierarchical scale. They have to be done one to many.”
While with big games it’s easy for Valve to decide what to add to the platform, when it comes to Indi games it gets much harder. Apparently they often have thousands of games looking to be submitted at once, so choosing what to add without burying content already available was difficult. With Greenlight, that should get easier.