Distribution Steam Greenlight no more! your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by gamedev4life, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    They're not gambling that title. Anybody making something good enough to make as much money as Stardew Valley (or any money at all, really - how big can the fee possibly be?!) isn't going to worry about the raised cost to get on Steam. This is going to filter out the hobbyist titles, and nothing else. I'm all for it!
    If a game is so bad that it'll make less money than the average asset-flipper, then it doesn't belong on Steam in the first place, right? Getting on Steam used to be a huge deal, where the free publicity given just by being on the platform would get you a ton of sales. Now there's so much trash gunking up the system, you're lucky if you get fifteen minutes (number pulled out of my ass, but I think I've heard it thrown around before) on the front page before getting buried. When did Steam become the GM Sandbox?

    A lot of people here are worrying too much. If the fee is $5000 to get on Steam and you can't raise that money alone, then start a Kickstarter. If your game can't even make $5,000 on Kickstarter, it doesn't belong on Steam. That's the reality of it, sorry! That's why they're changing the rules. Greenlight failed.

    Edit:
    With all the garbage that gets put through Greenlight, it'd be a real shame if your game didn't make it through somehow. I'm pretty sure it'd get through just fine though, so I'd just go for it. The only thing I'd be worried about is the average Steam user looking at your game and going "durr, too complicated, not enough memes," and downvoting. Greenlight users seem to be better than that though, so I can't see your game failing there.

    You might get more free press by being first on a new system, but you might have to fork over $5000 or something to make it happen. I'd wait to see what Valve says...
    Steam isn't for "indie's first game." If you don't think your game will even pull in $500, then it doesn't belong on Steam. Again, this is EXACTLY why the rules are changing.

    That said, I think you should do more research. I'm pretty sure your game would earn at least a few grand on Steam, Ranger. :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  2. JackTurbo

    JackTurbo Member

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    I certainly think the prestige of getting greenlit has stopped meaning anything.

    You could cobble together the worst game imaginable, but if you advertised that it would be cheap and would come with trading cards then you'd eventually get greenlit under the system as it stands.

    I like the greenlight system in theory, but the bar has been consistently lowered to the point that its as close to a "free for all" as it can get, which essentially makes the process pointless. Getting Greenlit used to be a badge of honour that people wore with pride.
     
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  3. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    ^Yes, exactly. I really wish Valve would just start taking a look at the top 100 (or whatever) games on Greenlight a month, and pare them down to whatever's playable. How long could that possibly take? I can spot a ****ty game after watching its trailer for five seconds. I'm amazed that Valve can't do at least some curating for its store front by itself. Would it really be that hard to pay someone to work for a few hours a day to look through the new Greenlit games to separate the wheat from the chaff? Steam's become a complete joke. Lord Gaben, why have you forsaken us?
     
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  4. sylvain_l

    sylvain_l Member

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    and what is quality game ? what's a ****ty games (for my personnal taste I have a perfect example of one that is on the edge of both side: pony island).

    long tail market is something hard to understand, because nobody has tastes that fit the whole tails, at best we just taste a few chunk of it!

    You don't like cheap steam cards games, your tastes! others do!
    You don't like joke games, your problem! others do!
    You don't like/haven't the money for high price AAA games+season pass+gold/platinium/GOTY/etc...DLC, your problem! others do!
    You don't like short/long/single/multiplayers/etc... games. your problem! others do!
    You don't like F2P-P2W games, still your problem! others do!
    You don' like *put a genra here* games, well you know the motto :)
    ... the list goes on ...


    putting a high fee of entry isn't a good thing ! Seriously if a "professionnal" indie dev/studio/AAA is afraid of the competition of hobbyist/12years kid production/entry indie/etc... That's because they are failing at delivering something ! And denigrating them just reinsure me that there is something that need to be done. (and I mean to be sure those hobbyist/12 year/... can reach their market!)

    my problem as customer/player isn't having more games with a wider range of genra/style/price/business model, etc...
    My problem is being well informed !
    Having the right tools that fits me to find games I'm going to enjoy.
     
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  5. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    That's also my point (underlined). Greenlight showed Steam WAS wanting to be that door for very small indie projects and first games. Now they sound like they stepping back from there with their new system. (still is an assumption though, we don't have all the details yet).

    And for my game, I wasn't even planning for Steam yet. I am a long way from there. The Life Ruby is the first game I ever made. First goal is to pull it off, to release it for PC on the internet and see if it can get some attention. Then I'll build from there.
     
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  6. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Greenlight wasn't created because Steam wanted to help indies. Greenlight was created because Valve wanted more money. Now their customers (and developers and gaming media) are all clamoring that Steam is full of trash and needs to be changed, so they're changing it. Valve never cared about helping people get their first game in front of an audience, hahah.

    No, that was my problem with the broken Greenlight system. Now they're changing it, so it's your problem! ;)
    Wanting more visibility for games that deserve it != being afraid to compete with the complete trash that gets through Greenlight nowadays, sorry. :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  7. MishMash

    MishMash Member

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    The important thing to remember here is that new system shouldn't result in more of these games. All of these sorts of games still got through greenlight. It sucks that it is the case, but if anything, it disincentivises script kiddies to slap together a collection of Unity assets and call it a game. So with a fee, we should see less garbageware. It isn't a perfect solution, however it atleast reduces the problem whereas greenlight was just an open floodgate. The other thing that I like to hope is that the $5000 price tag also comes with a certain amount of quality control from Valve's end. It is hard to argue what is and what isn't shovelware. We can get a rough feel for it ourselves, however developers may be blissfully unaware that our games are perceived in that way.
    I know I have certainly faced my fairshare of scrutiny for defending the premise of my game against other similar titles :p Though at very first glance, people could make arguments, which is why the discussion of what games are eligible will always be a tricky one.

    Greenlight had good intentions, they should have just been more strict with the allowance.I feel pretty proud as my game got greenlight in the very first batch it could have been in, getting a great yes vote ratio :)!

    First of all, you do technically have to be 18 to publish a game on steam. Developers aren't afraid of competition, by all means if a 12 year old makes a fantastic game, they deserve success, however the important point to make is that hobbyists should take the commercial scene seriously. The second you decide that you want to create a game worth other peoples money you become a professional. Steam should not be an entitlement to everyone who wants to make a game, there are plenty of platforms that people can use as a bridge if they cannot raise $5000 themselves.
    The important thing to remember is that $5000 shouldn't be a huge amount of money for someone who is expecting to sell their game. As others have said, if you are aiming for less than that, then steam isn't really the platform you should be striving for. Intermediate platforms such as kickstarter, gamejolt, itch, desura etc; are all viable stores which can generate a reasonable amount of traffic for good games.

    What steam is trying to eliminate is weak competition. These are games which use up store time that users would otherwise have spent browsing other games. If a game does not produce a good sale conversion rate (i.e. the ratio of page views to actual sales), then it is not as worthwhile for steam to advertise.

    Having an entry fee also makes it a much more viable platform for everyone who uploads games. It also introduces an element of reliability. Rather than 10 games coming out and getting 30 minutes of page time each, 1 game may come out getting 300 minutes (if that was your game, you would probably agree with me if it meant 10x the sales).

    The really really really important point to get across is the fee is not that high when you consider that it is recouperable (as in you get it back) and games on average still sell around 22,000 copies on steam. It is not preventing games from getting on the platform, it is a requirement for proven quality and experience from the publishing developers. Steam doesn't have to be your first stop, most indie developers making their first game shouldn't even be focusing on the commercial side of things, they should be focusing on making great games that people want to play. Once they have that, the financial success will come with time and effort.

    Would you not rather a system where if your game did make it on steam, you were guaranteed some advertisment? The way Greenlight is going now, this is not a reality, steam is just a webstore, you may as well have just had your game on a different platform as the fact it was on steam doesn't really guarantee any extra exposure.

    What this entire debate is boiling down to is that kids/teenagers will now struggle to get their games on the platform, is this a bad thing? I personally believe that steam should be a more premium platform, and that it shouldn't just be an open webstore for all games. The truth is, those kind of developers lack the experience required to really thrive on the platform. It's not that they can't, its just that on average, they will be less successful than developers who have already made a number of good, free titles in the past, and also have more discipline and understanding of the financial world, enough to know that $5000 is not much money when talking about game development.
     
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  8. sylvain_l

    sylvain_l Member

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    I really appreciate Jake Birkett GDC 2016 talk ( ) and if I remember well he had some fails that were under your $5000 earnings. Earnings are never sure.

    alternatively, there are some open source game available on steam; I'm a long time fan of teeworld http://store.steampowered.com/app/380840/ , do you want them too to pay a $5000 fee ? (there are a good amount of very good games/software open sourced - blender too is available on steam), they don't look for making money; so they shouldn't be on steam ^^. I really disagree. Personnaly, I'm thankfull to Valve for their way of doing on that point. Using part of the profit made with the most bankable games to support open source/alternate scene of games/softwares. Even if some are niche things that a majority of players/customers dislike.

    I understand Valve needs to make profit, so they need a way to balance things with bankable&and not making any/low profit things; I really hope they are going to continue to do their best on offering access to their platform to a large variety of dev, not just the most bankable.


    I never pre-ordered or bought first weeks a AAA title on steam (always wait for good sales, even if it mean wait for more then a year), despite that, every day I open steam they manage to spam me with their announce for those games. -_-' if valve is stupid enough to not use all the data they collected on my games habits/buyings through years; they are not doing their job so well.
    NO the time I spent on teeworld community forum, isn't going to be time I'm going to spent on a page of the store buying a game. If I'm spending my time on pages of cheap/free niche games, no chance that I'm going to replace it with buying a AAA title. I'm going to go elsewhere, on itch.io, gamejolt, indiegamestand, gog. (and with the rising of services like oneplay.com, valve & dev will have to rethink their business practice)

    And most important, Valve isn't just a store ! thinking just in term of sales or direct ROI/page view or dowloads can lead to some draw back. It's more & more a community.

    but I agree, Valve has a long way to go, to be able to offer better "information/publicity (?sincerly I don't know a good word? perhaps best would be "experience") to allow all the people on their platform to magically get the best of what they each individually are looking for; to be able to exchange/discuss in peace (well, not only Valve job, that's our job too, each one who is on steam, player & dev). But that has nothing to do with removing weak competition for me.


    thats an average, and you don't talk about earnings vs fee here, but copy vs. fee^^ ( just for the fun; it's more AAA 1M*50$ vs. niche joke game 1k*50ยข; )

    no the really really really important point to get across is that steam isn't just a store; it's a community site, it has to care about more that just profit. And if you want the next gen of devs (or what ever it's going to become in the future) you need a way to allow them to access the market today, to experiment, to learn and evolve and be the pro of tommorrow.

    and the pro dev of today who sincerely think they are going to make more money if they eliminate the weak competition are in good part wrong (the money will certainly go to those who can offer the service offered by that weak competition, on another platform/other media - most exception is the fake EA, but here the real dev will still have to make that fake become real to get the money - And to be honest, I'm not certain that a 5000$ fee is going to evict all those scammers, if it don't make it worst ?).

    The money that goes to those weak competition is proof to the fact that they offer something that those who like to call themself the pro are failling to deliver. (and for the free games, you can remove them, you won't get much money because those are part of a buisness that's outside the scope of the make profit - those customers for the most part have a very low capacity or willigness to pay - and to get something back from the costs cut, mean valve willing to give it back instead of keeping those profit for themself they invested in giving back to the comunitty - chance they can decide to give it to another charity or develop another similar way of giving back to community)
     
  9. Spasman

    Spasman Member

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    If Valve wants to back pedal on real indie game support, they should just say so. But don't try to tell me that forcing me to pay half a grand is looking out for me. They will be going back to being exclusively AAA titles and those teams that pose as """""indie""""" developers but are actually a full team with a publisher (b-but muh pixel art!! were indie!!) with a fee like that. If you aren't a full team, you're just a dirty lil' asset flippin' hobbyist. People in this thread talking about lowered indie game standards but probably don't know the technical definition of what an indie game is.

    I'm one of those Greenlit dirty/filthy "hobbyists". It took 4 years to develop my game by myself and its net me about $20k. I love making multiplayer games. I love the technical back end crap that goes into it, designing maps, game modes, weapons/ways to attack, balancing. It's all very stimulating to me, more then creating a single player experience. But I need income to keep supporting such a game. I make my games free, but with an entirely optional DLC to buy. Considering Game Maker with its Steam API functions, its ability to do a check on DLC installations, and the fact Steam has a good amount of people on it to keep multiplayer communities alive, its a pretty good option for me to use. So yeah, kick me out because of my game development preference, sure why not.

    Just don't tell me its for my own good because it's eliminating the thing I love in game dev. Valve nor anyone defending a $5000 fee is not taking a high road here. There are much lower fees they could install that would do well to fight against against your infamous asset flipper or joke submissions. Or, you know, they could put a ****ing human at the wheel and moderate what gets on their store page.

    The problem isn't how to get rid of the low competition game, the problem is Valve is trying to seriously self-automate EVERYTHING they do and thats not going to work in the world of quality control vs. small guy support. If they want to self-automate, they need to drop one to make the other work with self-sufficiency. They can't pretend they're supporting both ventures while just letting the system run by itself, occasionally sending in a web developer to make sure its working. I can't say I support it because it just seems like its Valve just being Valve, trying to find underhanded ways to back pedal on stuff they previously said without directly acknowledging it. Back pedaling and self-automation are not behaviors anyone should be supporting for a company.

    Regardless, the $5000 was merely a suggestion they heard and not something they made up themselves, but its really brought out the ****ty opinions of what my fellow developers think of dealing with competition.
     
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  10. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    That's good. There's nothing wrong with that! Itch.io, gamejolt, and the YoYoGames Sandbox welcomes you with open arms! You're not owed a spot on Steam just because you want one! :p
    It's not a matter of game preference. It's a matter of game quality. Valve is going to add a fee to get onto Steam in an effort to get rid of crappy games. If you don't think your game will be able to recoup whatever fee Valve decides on, that's fine. That just means your game isn't right for Steam anymore. You have plenty of other stores to sell on. If you do think Steam is still worth your time after the fee, then great! Put your game on Steam! =)
    I'm not telling you it's for your own good. I'm telling you it's for the good of people who make high quality games. People who make high quality games will be happy to see the garbage chased out of Steam. People who make games that won't sell enough to recoup Steam's fees, or people who can't make a game appealing enough to raise those needed funds on crowd funding sites will obviously not like these changes. But that's good! Steam is adding this fee for a reason! ;)

    That said, you said your games do make money, so this change should benefit you, too. Valve's fee should look insignificant compared to the increased revenue you'll see from having a less cluttered storefront. Again, this "fee" sounds like something they'll be borrowing from us, rather than keeping. Like someone else said, they'll probably pay you 100% of your earnings instead of 70% or whatever until the fee is paid back to you. I think it's a good plan! =)
    The people who are happy about this fee aren't worried about competition. They're worried about having their good games lost in a sea of bad ones, and losing money for no good reason so that a bunch of people can feel good about releasing terrible games on Steam and making a grand total of $1000 on the service after having their garbage game sit there for a year. There's a difference! It's not just game developers complaining that Steam needs to change. Almost everyone is. People want to go on Steam to find a bunch of cool games quickly and easily, not to waste time wading through a bunch of junk.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  11. Shut

    Shut Member

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    Honestly, I'm glad they are trying to do something about the quality and Greenlight. Sure, the high fee might cause some problems for indie devs that make quality games, but it will also stop the shovelware and asset flips, which is what Steam really needs at the moment.

    At this point, you don't only have to focus on making a great/quality game, but you also have to worry about the marketing, otherwise you just have to watch your game being buried by other asset flips when released. Wouldn't it be better just to focus on making a great game and not to worry about marketing or visibility? Even if that means paying a higher fee...

    Even though I got my game greenlit in 2 weeks, it only had 2,000 views while the average number of views for games on Greenlight was 10,000. That was because of bad timing and it ended up between hundreds of other asset flips... This is not about being afraid of the competition, but facing another huge issue which is visibility.
     
  12. Ninety

    Ninety Member

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    If a cluttered marketplace is the one thing holding you back from making it big, you've completely failed your marketing. People find Steam games from news sources, social media, word of mouth. If you're not actively marketing across several platforms you don't get to whinge about shovelware when your game sells 20 copies.

    Likewise, pretending there aren't companies making shovelware that can still afford $5000 is just laughable.

    And as for indies - Terry Cavanagh certainly didn't have $5000 lying around when he made VVVVVV. There are plenty more examples of that.

    I'm not against this new thing per se - Greenlight needed fixing and raising the barrier to entry is worth a shot - but it's obvious it has serious flaws.

    EDIT: Changed my example because I mixed up a couple of devs and completely undercut my point... Good job Ninety...
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  13. Chris S.

    Chris S. Guest

    Here here Ninety, my sentiments exactly.
     
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  14. Shut

    Shut Member

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    Being an indie game dev, doesn't mean you also need to be a pro at marketing, actually delivering a high quality game is enough in my opinion. So, a cluttered marketplace with thousands of asset flips is definitely a problem. I'd say it's a much bigger problem than paying a higher fee. If you're a marketer, good for you, but it doesn't have anything in common with being an indie dev.

    I'd prefer to focus on making a quality game, rather than thinking about a marketing strategy.
     
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  15. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Games that are gonna make it big are gonna make it big regardless of how much crap is on Steam, yes. Fantastic games always make money. They'd make even more money if there was less garbage cluttering the store, though. =)
    And games that deserve to make decent amounts of money now are being suffocated by the sea of trash that is the current Steam store. "Pff, at least five games a year will be smash-out hits on Steam no matter how much crap there is on the store!" doesn't help all the people who are making very good games that aren't quite attractive enough to go viral, but still very much deserve to make money. When visibility is as limited as it is on Steam, it's hard to make any money if you're not making ridiculous money. I don't think that's a good marketplace. I'd rather have 100 good games make 20k each than 1000 horrible games make $1000 each.
    Pretending that a $5,000 fee won't massively cut down on the amount of games put on Steam is also laughable. If it wasn't going to cut down on the games released, people wouldn't be complaining so much in here. ;)
    Undertale made over $50,000 on Kickstarter. Toby Fox certainly could have gotten his game on Steam, even with this new fee. :p
    I'm not seeing those serious flaws. Like I said earlier, if you can't scrape up the money, because you don't have a job, and you can't get a job, and you also don't have anything to sell, and your game also isn't good enough to make enough money through crowdfunding or any alternatives, then your game simply isn't for Steam. Sell on "indie" stores like itch.io. I don't see what's so bad about that. Again, when did Steam become the junk shop for games?

    It's funny, because Ninety has told me a million times that good games regularly fail due to lack of/bad marketing. Now when Steam tries to fix this problem, he complains about it. I guess he's been brushing up on his marketing skills? ;)
     
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  16. Ninety

    Ninety Member

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    I absolutely agree that it'll cut down on the crap, and I'd much rather fewer games were more successful, but that's not my point. My point is that a lot of people in this thread are saying if only there was less junk, all their games would make so much money!! Which is just BS and we both know it.

    And no, @Shut, marketing is actually incredibly important. It's what makes an income possible if you don't go viral by chance. I've lost count of how many devs released amazing games to minimal success because they relied upon people "just seeing it". Of course Steam clutter contributes to this, but raising the fee isn't going to be a panacea.

    Again, not saying it's going to fix everything, just that it isn't perfect.

    Yeah, ignore that one. I realised immediately after posting "wait, Toby had that really successful Kickstarter. Who was I thinking of, that had to ask for donations to keep him afloat?!" Turns out it was Terry Cavanagh. This'll teach me not to post right after getting out of bed. :p

    Steam should never have been a junk shop. And I've said a hundred times I think indie devs should have a backup plan and a proper income source to support themselves before releasing their first game. I could afford the fee because I have one. Maybe we just disagree about what kinds of games should be on Steam. I think the existence of GL proves Valve cared about more than just premium titles, and I'd like to hold them to that.

    We agree far more than you'd like to think, RHC - we both see serious problems with the current system. It's just that I don't think this is going to fix everything.
     
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  17. Ampersand

    Ampersand Member

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    The way I see it is Steam thought they could make a peer to peer system for moderating incoming indie games. It didn't work as planned. I'm sure they will implement something else that is dev friendly. I'm pretty sure they're trying to find a line where they don't lose out on itch.io type games while also keeping their market sort of a showcase. They want to be the best, but they'd be stupid to just entirely give up on this market.
     
  18. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Oh, it's definitely BS for a lot of people. A bad game isn't going to sell no matter how few games are sitting around it to distract you from it. :')
    What reducing the clutter will do though, is give a much more forgiving visibility window to all the "good-great, but not incredible" games out there. I'd rather see people who work hard for five years and make something enjoyable, maybe without being an amazing genius talent actually be able to make a living off their games, instead of pandering to all the people who think their "click the clown" games deserve a spot on Steam, hahah.

    It won't fix everything. I think it'll be much better than the open floodgate that was Greenlight, though.

    I'm not going to bust your balls too much, but VVVVV got released, right? So Terry probably got those donations he asked for? Way back in 2010, before Kickstarter made getting donations laughably easy? Are you sure you picked a good example to replace your original one? Heheh. :p
    I don't think GL really proved that at all. I think Valve was interested in seeing what would happen, in the interest of making more money. It turns out people want indie games, but not completely ****ty ones. This new change is reflecting that. I repeat: good indie games will still easily get onto Steam. Like you said, you already have your money saved. Even if you didn't, I'm pretty sure you could raise $5,000 through KS if you needed to. :p
    Again, I don't think it's going to fix everything, either. I just think it's going to make the marketplace better than it is right now. =)
     
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  19. Shut

    Shut Member

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    I never said marketing wasn't important. I just said that when you are an independent game developer, it's already enough to care about delivering a high quality product. Now with more asset flips, you also have to worry more about the marketing and visibility. It's quite logical that the more releases there are per day, the less chance you have to succeed without marketing. Just look at Google Play store and good luck being an indie dev there.

    I am trying to be a game developer focusing on making games not a marketer. If I wanted to become a marketer, I wouldn't be here writing this or making games. The whole point of indie games is that you don't need a publisher with their funding or marketing support. So, marketing shouldn't be as important as it has become with all the asset flips and shovelware on Steam. Higher visibility will be much better and mean less marketing needed in case you have a quality product.
     
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  20. Ninety

    Ninety Member

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    I think we're basically meeting in the middle here.

    Bit rusty on the details, but as I remember it, he had been making games for a few years and never seen real money from it, and he was hoping VVVVVV would be his breakout game. Unfortunately he was in such a bad financial situation that he had to ask on his blog for donations just to afford the submission to an expo (keep in mind this was pre-Patreon days, so it was less of "a thing").

    Still, I'm slowly becoming convinced that hobbyist devs are insane if they're staking their financial future on a lucky success, and don't have backup plans or other sources of income. So while I'd really hate to see small-time devs forced off the platform, I do see your point.

    The good news is, Itch.io is becoming more and more popular and stepping up their services, and it's becoming a bit of a hobbyist alternative to Steam. So it's not the end of the world either way.
     
  21. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    You think I don't know that? You probably misunderstand my point of view. If Steam wasn't just selling AAA and published games, its because they tried to widen their reach. In my vision (and what Steam was hinting at with Greenlight amongst other things) Steam could be the "one stop shot for all gaming on PC". From the tiniest indie to the biggest AAA. And that DOES make business sense. Clutter and people complaining some games sucks are minor problems. There are easy solutions for that or maybe am a visionary to imagine them. Steam are revising their scope, not crumbling or changing under peer pressure. They are the most powerful and successfull store, if the want to stay and be the "be all end all" store of all gaming, they can. They also have the right not to. We'll see what they choose. If that was my business I'd try to crush any market I can crush.
     
  22. Otyugra

    Otyugra Member

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    You raise some good points, one of which being that asset flippers, in particular, are likely to go away for the most part. I completely agree that for 5000$, Steam should be giving back by adding human curation for things like clear-as-day shovelware among other things (as opposed to taking the money and leaving with their getaway cars made of avarice; for Valve, this is a lot of money that they'll be making by doing nothing more).

    To start, the best answer is not other sites (that would be financially stupid; those sites are significantly less used by players), but to get a bank loan or other kind of loan. If someone is unwilling to do that, tough luck. Crowdfunding, as you stated works just the same.

    Now I'm calling shenanigans: 5000$ is a lot of d*** money for many people, even people who make games for a living. I will agree that if $5000 is a lot for someone, they might be better to wait for a kinder financial time, but that doesn't mean in the slightest that they should have to actually pay 5000$ to take up server space!

    Geez, did you even read the top of my post? "Guaranteed advertisement" describes Greenlight. Do you seriously not call voting on games added exposure? What does Direct have in place of that exposure? Fewer games to sort through doesn't count.
     
  23. MishMash

    MishMash Member

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    Yeah, steam should defo put more effort into quality control, this is undeniable :)

    Regarding the $5000 and whether this is or isn't alot of money. Yes, in every-day money, this is a lot however when you are talking about business/content production/contracts/budgets etc; $5000 is a relatively small amount for any venture. When you see any start-up business, regardless of what field it is in, $5000 would barely be enough to get going. I believe that game development should be treated with the same level of seriousness to an extent, however, as a compromise, I suggested posting on other sites as a "low-risk" means of acquiring the funds (There are many other ways to do this and I myself have yet to go out of pocket to fund my own game). After that, it just boils down to the common business practise of re-investing your earnings.
    Loans would be a more direct (and better) solution if you had a game that you had a lot of confidence in, though given the general vibe of this topic, people seem very risk-adverse and for some reason against acquiring funds to develop their game.

    Regarding exposure and advertisment, you are right that greenlight does give you exposure, however there are a number of issues with that exposure. First of all, only a small fraction of actual users look at greenlight, second of all, you get the exposure at the wrong time. It could be months before the game actually comes out, by which point, the greenlight "boost" may have become less wortwhile. Finally, greenlight does not really generate all that many views, most people will just click through. The old standard Steam policy used to be that new titles were guaranteed 1,000,000 views (this is 1,000,000 people having actively seen the banner for your game under the new releases section), on this note, greenlight generated 26,000 views for my game, which is still pretty neat, but not all that comparable (especially given these views happened at a time before the game's release, though yes, I suppose I was in the wrong for putting my game on greenlight before it was finished, and that is my fault).

    Now, given that so many games are coming out, Steam removed this view guarantee, as i guess it was unsustainable. It also doesn't really matter if Steam is a bigger webstore if your game is not getting views on Steam anyway. With greenlight, there isn't much opportunity for Steam to advertise your game, given the volume of other games coming out. The point I made before is that you could have equal success, if not better success on a different platform, if your game is past the point where Steam is advertising it. A lot of these games netting < 1000 sales do not get readily advertised on the steam webstore, they can be bought, but at this stage, its not all that different to having a game on smaller platforms, aside from the small convinience it adds for consumers who may already have steam payments setup. Though as Indie developers, we shouldn't have to rely on a culture where someone only buys our game if it is ultra-mega convenient for them, they should buy a game because they wanted it. (Now thats not saying games shouldn't be easy to buy, that's not the point, they should. I'm just saying that Steam isn't all that different to other web platforms on this front, when you remove the "free advertising").
     
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  24. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

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    If you want the freedom that being a professional independent entails, then you must necessarily accept its responsibilities and consequences.

    Of course you still need a publisher and marketer for your game as an indie --- it's you who now needs to double as that. Until the day you make enough to start hiring contractors and employees, you double as everything that You Inc. entails, from CEO to receptionist. This is the price of indie freedom.

    Neither does being indie mean you don't have a boss anymore --- his name is Mr. Market. If you think an average boss is rough to deal with, wait till you see Mr. Market shredding the paychecks AND wallets of people who fall behind and can't cope. This is the price of entrepreneurship.

    One of my favourite symbolisms of all time is the accomplished but bloodied ballerina. She has one slipper removed, showing the scrapes, gauze and scars under the satin. There is a price to pay for everything in life taken beyond the amateur level, and it doesn't come with refunds.

    If you wish to be a game developer without being shackled by marketing and cost-benefit constraints, stop doing it for a living and start doing it for fun.
     
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  25. ajan-ko

    ajan-ko Member

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    I think it will be around 500-1000$, the reason they mention 5000$ they want to see how market react to 5000$.

    They just want to softing the blow.

    Because when you think about it, it will be not 5000$, no. freakin. way. an indie dev afford that kind of money, 5000$?
    hell 2000$ is really hurting your wallet.

    But gotta admit 500$-1000$ really hurting shovelware because when you think about it.

    If they using 1000$ x 5 games = 5000$, and good luck to reach your 5000$ quota.

    Shovelware/asset flipper WILL exist, they easy to make, all I have to do, give me asset and 1 to 3 day, I will give you asset flip.
    Shovelware/asset flip = Easy as instant ramen.

    My advice is, give entry fee, 500 to 1000$ (cheap entry)
    Give 2500++ to 5000+$ as a sell cap (moderate sell cap).
    You can't get your money if it's not reaching some quota.

    It will punish shovel spammer, the more they spam those garbage to steam, the more they lost.
    If they decided, "okay let's spam 5 games to steam."

    5k $ lost, 25k $ quota needed to getting trough.
    or
    2.5k$ lost, 12,5k $ need to getting trough.

    Win win solution.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  26. Shut

    Shut Member

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    I don't agree with that. You're trying to generalize too much here by saying the market is your boss... That's basically the same as saying you can't survive without earning income. Sounds something like a quote from Captain Obvious. You do have a choice to publish your game on Steam by yourself and with the store less cluttered, your chances to succeed without a publisher and marketing increases, that's all.

    To be clear, I've been using GM since version 3 and created enough share of games just for fun. Luckily, I've also managed to make a living using GM for the last 5 years or so and for my latest game on Steam, I've already been approached by a publisher with a funding/marketing offer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
    RichHopefulComposer likes this.
  27. Chris S.

    Chris S. Guest

    That's very good news for me -- I make games as a hobby, not a living. If Steam changes the submission fee to $5k that's just not going to work: I'd take Itch.io. :rolleyes:
     
  28. Drewster

    Drewster Member

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    Wow, lots of traction on this thread.

    A few thoughts:

    1- If the fee is relatively low... $100... Steam will eventually become completely rather inundated with junk, but will reach a steady state, as the more who publish there, the less money potential there is -- just like the mobile app stores. Eventually being on Steam won't be a big deal, and most games published there won't make back their fee. Discovery will be the biggest problem.

    2- If the fee is relatively high -- say $1000 or more, you'll only have fancy games there, but there is a high risk of publishers going elsewhere. You will also end up with only "low risk" games getting published there, which eventually means a lot of interesting games (that may or may not end up being profitable) will go elsewhere -- or at least start out elsewhere. Right now there's not an equivalent "elsewhere", but there will be.

    3- Microsoft's plan with Windows 10 and future versions is to progressively lock things down such that most programs are downloaded from their store. It will help to make them relevant again. Initially they will continue to talk about how UWP is completely open and they welcome Valve and others who want to operate a storefront for UWP (but not old 32-bit) applications. However, if they end up moderately successful in doing so, they will eventually work hard to break or disallow Steam or other players. I don't believe Microsoft has the "Courage" to just put the hammer down without someone new at the helm, but they'll get there eventually. A thriving UWP store could eventually supplant Steam.
     
  29. MishMash

    MishMash Member

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    One new thought I just had was that having a higher fee actually opens up a potential for a new business. I was thinking about becoming an investor + publisher after our game comes out (rather than continuing to make games) as the idea of setting up a business that benefits the industry is rather appealing to me. What this could open up is a new tier of lightweight publishing and risk evaluation. Lets say as a publisher, I could cover the cost of games to get on steam, but give each game a risk evaluation. Higher risk titles would have a higher interest/profit share margin, though to keep things fair, I wouldn't want to be a dick to game developers, just earn enough to be able to take a hit if multiple titles failed.

    If this market opens up, the whole publishing scene could change for indie games. This is actually a good thing as it could lead to developers having more funding options in the future, whilst keeping risk to the developers themselves low. The idea I had for a company was to basically try and offload the admin work from the indie developers so they can focus on developing the game, with the condition that the publisher takes a cut (5 to 10% or so) (and makes back the initial fee first, this fee and cut based on the evaluated risk of the title). I think that would appeal to those developers who feel financially challenged, as it would give them a better opportunity to compete, with a fair trade-off.

    A system like this could then turn into better funding opportunities for indie's as a whole. I know publishers already exist, though the current indie game publishing scene is rather wishy-washy, I believe a change in the tone of the market could have implications across the board.
     
  30. ajan-ko

    ajan-ko Member

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    So it's probably below that price...
     
  31. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Maybe. Maybe not. Steam used to be as prestigious as consoles are. Even now, there's some garbage getting onto console e-shops. $3k is really nothing to "start a business" selling your game, especially with so many ways to obtain funds nowadays. Even if the fee was high, Steam would still be easier to get on than consoles though, since Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo actually curate their shops still. As far as I know, anyway. I've seen some games that make that a little hard to believe, haha.

    We'll see what they do, though. Never know with Valve, haha.
     
    MishMash likes this.
  32. Bingdom

    Bingdom Googledom

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    I hope when this new program gets applied, all the bad, cringy, questionable games on steam gets swept.

    I'm happy to commit $100-250 to a game that I'm really committed to, and think I'll get a return.
     
    Chris S. likes this.
  33. Niels

    Niels Member

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    The BIGGEST problem with the current trash that's shoved onto greenlight isn't bad indie games, it's the EARLY ACCESS system.
    People are buying buggy incomplete crap, with the promise from the devs that someday it will be a awesome game...

    How many of those 3D free roaming, survival and crafting games on early acces have been finished the last few years? (also looking at you DayZ!)

    no one should ever have to pay for a game that's in alpha or beta state..
     
    ajan-ko likes this.
  34. ajan-ko

    ajan-ko Member

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    Nah, they will be same or cheaper than PS4... because valve is not that naive to put PC gaming entry fee higher than Console,

    It's like putting burger price higher than premium steak.

    And besides they know there's a gem out there in indies, to let go that kind of revenue is really-really bad decision financially.
    To let go 1 mil revenue like stardew or any successfull indies to another competitive company? Really?

    Well, but anything can happen, just stay calm and see.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  35. Nocturne

    Nocturne Friendly Tyrant Forum Staff Admin

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    Just going to throw this out there... My own opinion on this is that (tentatively) it's a good idea, and that I kinda hope they make the price per game on the higher side of things ($1000 - $2000). Why? Because what'll happen is that indies will start to use sites like Itch.io and GameJolt a LOT more to get their games published, and those sites will benefit hugely, which in turn will expand the opportunities and audience for indie games. And yo0u know what else will happen too? The revenue from those sites for your game will then be used to pay to publish it on Steam.

    So, you publish to Itch or GameJolt, your game does well and you make a grand, you then use that to pay to get the game on Steam (by which point it's got a good fanbase and publicity because it's done well on the smaller indie sites) and you make more money. This is a win-win situation for everybody. Indies still have somewhere to publish (and free too if they want), those sites grow and attract new players and devs, this in turn generates more money and publicity and only those indie games that have the quality (or fanbase) to get people to pay for them will make it onto Steam.

    Now, I'm not saying that this is how it will go down, but I'm thinking that's definitely how I'll be playing things in the future.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  36. 11clock

    11clock Member

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    I think that a high fee is actually not a bad idea. Let's face it, Valve opened the flood gates and they need to be shut. If you are not expecting to get $5000 back, you shouldnt be on Steam in the first place. This crushes developer's dreams but only the poor basement dwellers who most likely didnt have a shot anyways.

    But a fee is not enough. The big problem with Steam at the moment is lack of quality assurance. They need a dedicated quality assurance team that actually checks on submitted games, not some machine.
     
    RichHopefulComposer likes this.
  37. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    No, not really! Like I said a few times already in this thread, games like Stardew Valley will still be able to easily make it on Steam even with a large fee. You think Stardew Valley can make millions in sales, but wouldn't be able to raise a paltry few thousand dollars to get onto probably the most lucrative games market out there? ;)

    I don't understand you steak/hamburger analogy, sorry. Like I said, Steam used to be comparable to getting on consoles before they opened it up with Greenlight. Steam was "steak" just a few years ago. It looks like they want to head back in that direction now. =)
     
  38. Fredrik

    Fredrik Member

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    I got my game greenlit about half a year ago and have full access to Steamworks, anyone know if I'll still keep my abilitiy to release my game on Steam?
     
  39. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Nope, you won't. Gabe Newell is going to come to your house, rough you up a bit, smash your computer, and then drop a sick burn on you with a really witty and cutting one-liner. Then he's gonna wink at your girl, but she won't go for it because she loves you, and also because Gaben needs to lose a few pounds to get into her league, if we're being perfectly honest.

    No, just kidding. I assume you'll still be able to release your game, since games are still being allowed to go through Greenlight. That'd be pretty silly if they were going to revoke all your licenses, right? =)
     
    Bingdom likes this.
  40. Fredrik

    Fredrik Member

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    Damn! just as I expected >.>

    haha ^^

    yeah I hope so :3
     
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  41. Joh

    Joh Member

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    That's kind of unfortunate.
    Is Greenlight still open right now? I'm still seeing campaigns these days.
    Would it be worth pushing in before the switch? I'd be confident once i got my game to the point I want it, but not right now.
    Though if all these bad things get through as everyone says... maybe I'd have a shot?

    This is how I thought about it too.
    But are itch and gamejolt big? big enough? I'm a gamedev and barely know of them.
    I'm sure they will benefit from this, hell when I first heard of this, this is what I thought.
    Main problem I see is if you make a clear indie vs "realz" line. people will pick one and stick to it.
    Will indie even make the money to upgrade to steam, in a sea of competing indies?
    I mean this is the whole steam situation in the first place. but at least they are already on steam; what (money) they get is what they get.
    Id also argue having all the game including AAA prevents (or slows down) the race to the bottom. Id expect indie store to go mobile style: prices down until its all free!!
    And say they did work their way up to "now pure hypothetical" steam. Would the "full market" add much more sales? I assume most people interested in these game would already be on "hypotetical indie game grinding store". Leaving mostly the "feel like an indie game sometimes" Steam people.
    In a way the concept reminds me of the Vita (or WiiU) Got games that sell great on their platform, but wouldn't do much better outside of it. Because almost everyone who likes those game have it already. There's also a bunch of people who would want to play those game, but dont feel the platform itself is worth it, making them miss out on it.
    Hopefully Im just wrong, my whole scenario feels super pessimistic.
     
    Nocturne likes this.
  42. Chris S.

    Chris S. Guest

    I believe it is still open, but the reason for all the fuss is that they want to replace it as soon as possible.
     
  43. Chris S.

    Chris S. Guest

    So far as Itch and GameJolt being big, Steam is a lot bigger, but they'll probably start climbing up in popularity if Steam stamps a near $5k admission fee on small-time Indie developers. I'm going to wait and see. If the fee does increase by a large amount, there's no way I'd be able to cope with it -- Itch and GameJolt would be my most realistic targets.
     
  44. sylvain_l

    sylvain_l Member

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    (steam isn't a requirement to be successfull - and if you are already succesfull without, why go on steam?)

    out of curiosity, what commission take competition?
    humbleBundle (5%-25%?) itch.io (10%?), indiegamestand (5%-30%(=20%IGS+10%charity)) GOG (30%) or gamejolt (max10%) against steam commission (still 30+%?).
    Cause if some indies start to be successful outside/without steam; there are surely other notch(=minecraft)-like that are going not to think about the 5k$ but about the 30+% and say " you know what, I'm going to continue to sell without you valve" (of course, a lot will still jump on board I suppose).
     
  45. Chris S.

    Chris S. Guest

    You do have a point there, but dang, Steam helps.
     
  46. frumple

    frumple Member

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    Removing Greenlight means new applications will not go through a vote gathering process/phase.

    Another part of the annoucement that ended up overlooked had to do with changes to discovery queues and the new releases queue which can be customised by each Steam user.
    Personally, i have filtered out games with "zombies" and "VR" in them and Steam obligingly stopped recommending them. They still exist, and occasionaly one overlaps a category i am interested in, or is recommended by friends (with no taste), or it's apparently good or something. A game in a category i don't normally go for can still be presented, but for the most part i don't see what i dislike and won't buy. Early Access? I may follow, but no buys.
    If this reads like it's a bit personal and opinionated, that is the point.

    The store front page, discovery queue and new releases are already customised based on your preferences and gaming history. Ordinarily i'd complain about tracking, but i actually want Steam to track this. See me playing platformers or roguelikes and recommend 20-30 other similar ones and i'll decide which ones are worth following/wishlisting. I have a problem with general web tracking and targeting, but not when it's specifically about games on a games platform.

    Point being, Steam users will see the types of games they're most likely to buy with the occasional "we don't know if you'd like this, but we're throwing it out there so you can check it out" outsider choice thrown in. The store will be tailored to fit the likes and dislikes of individuals without a marketing team designing the front.
    That is how Valve is going to get around the problem of too many new games flooding in and crowding each other for the spotlight.

    Once again, removing Greenlight means new applications will not go through a vote gathering process/phase.
    Everything under the sun will be released on Steam. Only without rigging votes, and without trading keys for positive reviews (key activations no longer count towards overall score). Getting a hype train going in order to trick casual buys (hey this game is hype, and it's cheap. Maybe it's good?) is going to work differently from now on.
    People pushing anything good or bad will pay for it themselves, and users can filter out unwanted games, and everybody wins (because Valve does not have to use/pay human beings to decide these things, for better or worse).

    And if you think about it, niche games will have a better chance of ending up on people's radar if they have shown an interest in that niche. Like spreadsheet management games or bullet hell shooters? Good! There are a few dozen to check out. If you like just one enough to make a purchase, you get a game you like, the developer gets paid and potentially a new fan, and Valve takes a cut and keeps the business going.

    Disastercake wrote a good blogpost that goes over this in more detail: http://www.disastercake.com/blog/steam-removing-greenlight-indie-developers-interpretation/
     
  47. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    "Everything under the sun will be released on Steam" is only going to be true if the fee is low enough. This thread is proof enough of that. Half the devs in here are already swearing off Steam pre-emptively, when they don't even know what the fee is yet, lol.

    I do agree that it could happen, though! Valve might figure that Greenlight is a completely open door anyway, so they might as well stop pretending it isn't. I doubt their fans are going to like that, though. Everyone says Steam is a trash heap now because of Greenlight. We'll see how it goes, I guess. I'm not especially worried either way. Great games still make money on Steam, even with a sea of junk surrounding them.
     
  48. Geoff Jones

    Geoff Jones Member

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    Higher price for fees wont keep out the junk, it will just keep out more games in general.
    I hope They will be giving me a refund for my unused greenlight fee...
     
    anthropus likes this.
  49. anthropus

    anthropus Guest

    indeed, this is a money grab more than anything, but hey its steam theyre so powerful now so they made a move--definitely not encouraging, and i know yoyogames doesn't like this either, and i stand by yyg they make game development possible for me, science bless them! steam is going more corporate in its policies, will not be as good as it used to be like ea and others who chose the corporate path lol, sigh
     
  50. Silverfire

    Silverfire Member

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    Jun 22, 2016
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    Maybe the fee should be based on the price you want to sell the game? Maybe something like $250 + "price you want to sell" x 100

    $5 game = $750
    $10 game = $1250
    $40 game = $4250
    etc.

    To get back the money for a $10 game you need to sell a bit less than 200 copies, which should be easily doable if your game's quality is above average and you do a minimum of promoting.
     

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