The new Steam Greenlight initiative is an interesting one. It will allow players to greenlight (ironic naming, huh?) what games do and don’t make it into the Steam store.
Considering the sheer popularity of Steam, this could be a chance for some unheard of games to make it into the spotlight and reach millions more gamers than they could previously have imagined.
The official announcement page sheds a bit more light on the matter:
With the introduction of the Steam Workshop in October 2011, Steam established a flexible system within Steam that organizes content and lets customers rate and leave feedback. This opened up a new opportunity to enlist the community’s help as we grow Steam and, hopefully, increase the volume and quality of creative submissions.
We know there is still a lot of room for improvement in making Steam distribution easier and faster; this is just a first step in that direction.
How does this differ from other store’s submission processes?
The prime difference is the size of the team that gets to decide what gets released. For many stores, there is a team that reviews entries and decides what gets past the gates. We’re approaching this from a different angle: The community should be deciding what gets released. After all, it’s the community that will ultimately be the ones deciding which release they spend their money on.
This is a very big step for Valve and Steam. Hell; it’s a big step for gamers everywhere! This is the kind of power that could very easily make or break a game.
The fact that it’s open to anyone who is developing a game is brilliant, and allows game developers to really get involved in the community in order to help get their game to that spot on Steam. Once a game is on the service, it stays there until the developer chooses to remove it; meaning that they have all the time they want to promote their game and get it into the Steam store.
It’s a very interesting idea. There’s been issues about giving the public power before, but could Valve be the ones to pull it off successfully? Their Steam Workshop service works brilliantly, so I see no reason that this couldn’t.