Developers Mixed on Greenlight's $100 Submission Fee

#101 Posted by ItBeStefYo (1020 posts) -

This was the only way to stop the chancers who uploaded games that they didn't have the right to

#102 Posted by LassieME (232 posts) -

In what world do we live in that a 100 $ is to much to ask upfront for a chance to be on the front page of steam?

#103 Posted by benu302000 (213 posts) -

Thank god Valve is doing this. Unless you want to steam to become the next Xbox Indie Games, I think they need to be at least this stringent, and probably more so.

#104 Edited by Sweetz (537 posts) -

@Shivoa said:

I'm glad to see so many rich people talking about how little $100 means to them. I'm sure that they speak having lived on the typical wages in many areas of the world far from their current decadent existence and so are able to be so authoritative on how small change that value is for everyone.

Oh please. If you live in any area of the world developed enough that spending your time developing video games is a viable pursuit, you can afford $100 if you're serious about your game.

However, that's entirely moot anyway, because without Steam you'd be paying a hell of a lot more to establish your own website and distribute the game yourself, which is what an indie dev would have had to do before Steam. $100 is lowering the barrier of entry for an indie dev many, many times over. It's actually giving very small devs at least a chance to sell their game where they previously would have had none, because they would be paying several thousand to get their game out there, not a $100. So yeah when rationally considered, $100 is not a lot, regardless of where you live because if you can't afford it, you would have no chance of selling your game anyway.

#105 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2474 posts) -
@WarlockEngineerMoreDakka said:

$100 might not mean a whole lot to us- but it might mean a bunch to Indies who don't have any other employment and somehow can't secure any. :O

    
Also all their relatives have been killed by raccoons and they don't have any friends. They live in utter solitary. All they have is their little 8-Bit retro puzzle game.
#106 Edited by mewarmo990 (837 posts) -

There are, conceivably, basement developers living hand-to-mouth for whom a $100 fee might seem difficult. However, that line of argument leads nowhere. If you want to get a video game published normally, the overall process involves much more money than that. $100 to get a publisher (or Steam users) to look at your game is more than free, yes, but in the grand scheme of things it's an insignificant cost to get a chance at publication when the other primary barrier of entry is community feedback.

Coming from someone who does work in game publication and frequently evaluates pitches by small developers, if you are serious about investing in your game, $100 is NOTHING if all you need to do after that is please the gaming public in order to get published and start making money. Working via a "proper" lengthy development milestone process with publishers, even small ones, costs a LOT more money than that because a game publisher wants their investment back, whether the game succeeds or fails financially.

Finally, if you look at the arguments by actual game developers against the fee, most are opposing it on the principle that it negatively impacts the purpose or environment of Greenlight, not the $100 amount itself. They know the same thing I just said.

#107 Posted by CornBREDX (5579 posts) -

I said this in the forums earlier, but I don't have a problem with the submission fee. Especially since its a one time fee to basically say your serious about this and not posting junk. 
 
The people who are complaining don't have a leg to stand on. 100$ is not expensive in any part of the world. I make shit and I can afford to pay 100$. Ya I'd eat less, but if I had a game I wanted to get on steam and make a living that way, fuck ya I'd do it. I can eat ramen for a month or more if I had to. 
 
I don't find it unreasonable at all. The only argument I've seen that I can see is the ones releasing big mods (such as Black Mesa) which are free to play and wont be for profit at all. Making them pay to be on there is a tad sucky and i think it's a great place to put stuff like that. To counter though, they can just use the workshop for that I think. It doesn't have to be on green light- but I don't know either how that works. 
 
Anywho, I don't see it as a problem.

#108 Posted by ERoBB (160 posts) -

Submission fees are normal for just about any artistic entry competition/venue. And by donating it, Valve is proving it's not for profit, it's just to prove there's a person behind each entry who is serious.

#109 Posted by Hunter5024 (5805 posts) -

You gotta spend money to make money.

#110 Posted by Shivoa (633 posts) -

@benu302000 said:

Thank god Valve is doing this. Unless you want to steam to become the next Xbox Indie Games, I think they need to be at least this stringent, and probably more so.

You do realise this fee is for getting onto Greenlight, not getting onto Steam? You pay the money to get on a voting system where if you manage to get enough votes for you then valve will look at your game and decide if they want it on the service. So the 4 points of failure are: not paying $100; not getting voted for enough by Steam users; not being selected by Valve after a look to be added to their service; not having those votes translate to actual sales once you hit Steam.

Steam can't turn into XBLIG because of step 3 (and to some extent step 2, but who knows what the community might vote up). The fee is to stop trolls and jokers, the community voting and steam approval process it the gate to make sure only good games (and Bad Rats, bad joke stolen from here) / genuine products without malware reach customers. Surely $10 and a postal submission of a signed contract is just as effective a wall for trolls to pass (Hell even $1 means the card details are on file and it takes a really dedicated troll to keep getting new credit cards to generate new fake accounts, as some have argued).

I may have way more than $100 spare, so will everyone else on this thread by the likes of it but not every dev has spare pennies, certainly not 10,000 of them to throw at a public vote and then actual approval process (either of which could easily falter). This fee will cut down on trolls, but couldn't a $10 fee be basically just as effective at doing that? Isn't this just the first weeks of a new thing for all the internet trolls to focus on before getting bored? SilverDollar pay their $100/year for XBLIG and so do the massage apps up there so it seems that this fee is not effective on it's own and so only in conjunction with the later failure stages so maybe the fee is much higher than it need to be to detract trolls and games you don't think worthy of the Steam storefront (but obviously excusing the XBLIG that are already on Steam and made it through that process before all of this).

#111 Posted by ds8k (414 posts) -

Not to be rude, but while we're at it:

does not impact games already been submitted

expressed decidedly porlaized opinions.

getting on the services is it's best bet.

#112 Edited by TehChich (165 posts) -

Edited: It seems people like to crush the dreams of the next generation of developers. Whee.

#113 Posted by Oddy4000 (94 posts) -

Although I agree with most everyone else here that a $100 FEE would be reasonable and unremarkable, the fact that it's a DONATION to Child's Play is brilliant. They've taken a product intended to do good for their developer community, and turned it into an opportunity to do something good for sick kids as well. Good on ya, Valve.

#114 Posted by MikkaQ (10313 posts) -

It seems to me that's a good stopgap control measure to prevent it from becoming full of exploitative garbage like the App Store. 100$ isn't much, even if you're a poor indie dev.

I think there should be better solutions being thought up, but for now it kinda makes sense.

#115 Posted by patrick (563 posts) -

@TehChich: Greenlight is a system for games aspiring to be on Steam, nothing to do with learning about development.

#116 Posted by Fobwashed (2113 posts) -

@patrickklepek: I think it's worth mentioning that XBLIG also requires a $99 annual membership to be allowed to submit or peer review/test any games on the service. Even with a block in place to insure that all games that appear on XBL fulfill a pretty huge list of requirements, the service is so full of crap that nobody really uses it except to find a specific game by title. If they didn't have the annual fee, I can only imagine the loads of crap that would be entered into the peer review system. This barrier to entry is a necessary thing because if it's open to the general public, it can only be disastrous to everyone involved.

I'll take this a step further and say anyone allowed to vote for a game should also fit a prerequisite such as having spent a minimum amount on steam games to prevent anyone from "gaming" the system as well. I just recently found out that I've spent well over 1k on Steam over the years and was totally surprised. Maybe a barrier of $100 spent would be enough to prevent people from making dummy accounts to promote their own games.

Online
#117 Posted by Draxyle (1874 posts) -

@ThePickle said:

By riff raff, I meant stuff like this:

-

This kind of stuff clogs up the system and potentially overshadows legitimate games.

Jeebus. That selection of "games" is a good argument in favor of the fee.

#118 Edited by G0rd0nFr33m4n (762 posts) -

100 dollars is nothing.

#119 Posted by benspyda (2038 posts) -

A one time fee of $100 sounds fine to stop some of the crap. Hell, Apple charges you $100 a year just to develop for their platform.

#120 Posted by triple07 (1197 posts) -

Steam Greenlight already has enough bullshit on it with a fee. I can't imagine what would happen if they didn't have a fee. I mean I saw a greenlight for Halo CE on greenlight. Not put there by Microsoft or anyone who would be able to actually be able to put it on Steam but by some guy who either paid $100 for a joke or someone who misunderstood how the whole thing worked.

#121 Posted by ThePickle (4185 posts) -

@zombie2011 said:

I don't think $100 is that much.

However, i have a feeling that if anyone else like EA or MS had something similar and were charging $100 submission fees people would go nuts, but because this is Valve nobody cares.

Valve is donating all this money to charity. It's purely something to ensure that only people who really want their games looked at get in and the service doesn't get bogged down with nonsense.

#122 Posted by MiniPato (2742 posts) -

A hundred dollars is not a lot, really. If you really want to make a game, then you'd pay the fee. If you are that person looking to make a gamble on a shitty game with no effort put into it and hoping people buy it anyways, then you're more hesitant about submitting it.

#123 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

holy shit! 100 bucks!

#124 Posted by Shivoa (633 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

It seems to me that's a good stopgap control measure to prevent it from becoming full of exploitative garbage like the App Store. 100$ isn't much, even if you're a poor indie dev.

I think there should be better solutions being thought up, but for now it kinda makes sense.

You're right, this $100 fee will certainly block out people using the free PC SDKs from doing what App Store devs do with their $100/year subscription iOS SDK. Clearly $100 to Child's Play is so much more expense than $100/year to Apple and so will be more effective at reducing the number of 'exploitative garbage like the App Store' type products pushed into the Greenlight system.

Or maybe that entire pool of iOS apps is designed to make money vs the initial risk of fees/development/paying for upvotes/paying for reviews/getting lucky with popularity and so this will do nothing but create a demand for paid votes on Greenlight (bet that'll lead to a lot of $1 Humble purchases to farm Steam accounts so not all bad) to ensure their commercial viability so the only people this will effectively stop are trolls who don't think $100 is a good spend to troll (but would be happy paying $10 to do it?) and poor devs who don't have spare money but could have found an audience though the Greenlight process and then a market and been able to get out of that bottom rung of 'keeping going'.

#125 Posted by Maginnovision (488 posts) -

@snide said:

As someone who builds submission queues for a living I can tell you this is likely defined by spam protection more than anything else. Anyone who thinks that raw manpower alone can view thousands and thousands of submissions is delusional of the costs and talent required to engineer the perfect form box.

Exactly. This is the reason greenlight came about, so that they didn't have to view every single entry and then decide. Now it's all on the community, but they don't want legitimate submissions getting lost in the fold.

#126 Posted by Abendlaender (2830 posts) -

I think Bruce is completely right. If you honestly can't afford 100$ then just release your game elsewhere. If it is good and people like it you probably earn 100$ or maybe don't need Greenlight after all to get it onto steam. Or kickstart it.

Fact is: Valve had to do something, cause the internet is full of idiots who will use whatever is available to annoy other people and paying money is the only thing I can think of that will stop that.

#127 Edited by Shotaro (820 posts) -

I think that the fee was inevitable, for something like Greenlight you need a gate or other form of barrier to entry. I think a better system would be to make the $100 refundable if Steam publishes the game. (I would assume though that there were inherent costs in getting a game published to the service anyway. I doubt anyone would have been able to release a game and put it on steam for free.)

As much as I can understand the notion that some basement developers are living hand to mouth, to raise enough money to get the game on Steam would likely make for a trivial Kickstarter project. Even more so if the game was finished or almost finished, a few youtube videos and a decently set out pitch would easily accumulate $1000 or whatever the minumum goal is for Kickstarter.

#128 Posted by patrickklepek (5460 posts) -

@benu302000 said:

Thank god Valve is doing this. Unless you want to steam to become the next Xbox Indie Games, I think they need to be at least this stringent, and probably more so.

Spoiler: it costs money to be part of the Xbox Live Indie Games ecosystem, too. IIRC, it's about $100, too

#129 Posted by Nicked (253 posts) -

I agree with the sentiment that in the grand scheme of developing a game $100 is paltry, but one could argue the 40 cents is a paltry amount of money too. It's not about the amount of money, it's about the principle of the thing.

There are better ways to handle spam than a pay-wall. I think that this submission fee is an arbitrary charge and that surely the minds at Valve could have come up with a better solution.

Also, because Greenlight only just launched, of course there are loads of idiots trying to get attention with "funny" fake games.

#130 Posted by MikkaQ (10313 posts) -

@Shivoa: There's a difference between paying Apple 100 bucks a year and pumping a shitty app out every month and hoping for the best, and having to pay 100$ per submission.

#131 Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials (2411 posts) -

At first I thought it was a little steep, but this way I feel like it motivates the serious teams just as much as it keeps out the trash.

With $100 invested up front, it gives you an extra incentive to keep working and not just abandon the project for months/years at a time like so many teams do.

Online
#132 Posted by Shivoa (633 posts) -

@MikkaQ: The Greenlight fee isn't per submission is my understanding. You pay and are then Gold for submitting your game(s) to Greenlight.

#133 Edited by Shivoa (633 posts) -

@SaturdayNightSpecials said:

At first I thought it was a little steep, but this way I feel like it motivates the serious teams just as much as it keeps out the trash.

With $100 invested up front, it gives you an extra incentive to keep working and not just abandon the project for months/years at a time like so many teams do.

Yes, what people who have given hundreds/thousands of hours of their unpaid (spare) time into a project really need is (a) $100 (raffle ticket to the court of public voting) on the line to keep them motivated. That's the key!

#134 Edited by MikkaQ (10313 posts) -

@Shivoa said:

@MikkaQ: The Greenlight fee isn't per submission is my understanding. You pay and are then Gold for submitting your game(s) to Greenlight.

Ah well if that's the case yeah it's completely pointless. Any asshole can find 100 bucks. Hell I've found that on the street once.

@patrickklepek said:

@benu302000 said:

Thank god Valve is doing this. Unless you want to steam to become the next Xbox Indie Games, I think they need to be at least this stringent, and probably more so.

Spoiler: it costs money to be part of the Xbox Live Indie Games ecosystem, too. IIRC, it's about $100, too

I knew this was true, but I've always found it hard to imagine these controller massage and seasonal fireplace games (apps?) were made by someone who cared enough to pay $100.

#135 Posted by Nill (25 posts) -

@theManUnknown said:

@Nill said:

Valve's solution to a broken, clogged up rating process is to add "micro-transactions"?

That term doesn't accurately describe anything in this context. It's a one time fee for each individual developer. Even with this, the bar-to-entry to get on Steam remains drastically lower than with every other notable digital distribution platform this side of Desura and the Ubuntu Software Center.

It was a joke. I thought asking what hat they got with their payment would have been too much.

Defending the barrier to entry as low misses the point. Only the most no-effort submissions would be affected and the current rating system still sees completed & popular games buried and struggling with less than 10% of the needed "Likes" to pass the popularity contest. If the $100 fee at least bought the eyes of an intern long enough to sort submissions between finished titles and barely alpha concepts it might be a different story.

#136 Posted by kn00tcn (159 posts) -

@patrickklepek: why is the ludum dare link going to alexander bruce?

#137 Posted by mercury228 (41 posts) -

They cannot afford $100? Come on now. 

#138 Posted by 5eNintendan (64 posts) -

You need to spend money to make money. If you can't sell your game some other place without steam to make the $100. You sure as hell not gonna get the 100k (? was this, not sure if it is anymore) up votes needed to get your game passed.

Many people have already tried and upload games they do not own, or games that are shareware. With the $100 fee, it will stop people from trying to upload games they don't own, in fear they'll lose that money.

#139 Posted by Lokiale (14 posts) -

@ThatPrimeGuy: $100 is a very reasonable low hurdle to leap over.

#140 Posted by jdownes (30 posts) -

This does seem like a kneejerk reaction from valve. They should have waited and given the community a little more time to settle down, rather than penalize legitimate submissions. That said, if you can't afford $100 for something that could potentially net you thousands or millions, you prob should rethink what you are doing.

#141 Posted by ajamafalous (12028 posts) -

I think you're fishing for controversy where there isn't any, Patrick. As a majority of the comments on this article have stated, nobody in their right mind would think this is a bad idea or "controversial." If a developer thinks their game is good enough to be on Steam then a $100 investment toward that should be a trivial issue.

#142 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

@benspyda said:

A one time fee of $100 sounds fine to stop some of the crap. Hell, Apple charges you $100 a year just to develop for their platform.

$100 to distribute. The development tools are free, if you have a Mac. If you don't have a Mac, you will need a Mac.

I looked into that one time because I've been developing for Android and was interested in iOS. From what I saw I'm not ready to go down that path yet.

As an Android developer, I paid $25 to get on the Play Store. If you already have some manner of computer, that's the only required payment. And I've found it to be pretty effective. There are some who aren't hindered by the fee, but I imagine that's because of the ad revenue they've earned from idiots who actually downloaded those apps while I waited for Google to respnd to the reports. Valve responds much quicker.

What I'm saying is that I think $25 would have been just as effective as the $100 fee while being more developer-friendly.

#143 Posted by BlastProcessing (921 posts) -

I'm happy the $100 fee has beeen implemented, at least now Greenlight can look slightly respectable, and not full of Slender remakes, and Russian's submitting Fifa games! Also, money going to charity is OK.

#144 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

How do you know you speleed AAAaaAAaaaa Whatever name right? or know when to stop saying Aaa what a silly name for a game... but I'm more for caring about it.

#145 Posted by Bunny_Fire (309 posts) -

well i was under the impression that the greenlight service was for users like me to filter out the crap for valve for free and then they would have a look at the ones that made it though.

Now I don't get paid for going though all these submissions and i really don't think valve should charge for the trouble i go though to look at all these games.

#147 Edited by WarlockEngineerMoreDakka (432 posts) -

@atomic_dumpling said:

@WarlockEngineerMoreDakka said:

$100 might not mean a whole lot to us- but it might mean a bunch to Indies who don't have any other employment and somehow can't secure any. :O

Also all their relatives have been killed by raccoons and they don't have any friends. They live in utter solitary. All they have is their little 8-Bit retro puzzle game.

Killer Raccoons? :O

He probably considers them his new family- as they serve as the inspiration for his game no doubt. :D

:P

@ajamafalous said:

I think you're fishing for controversy where there isn't any, Patrick. As a majority of the comments on this article have stated, nobody in their right mind would think this is a bad idea or "controversial." If a developer thinks their game is good enough to be on Steam then a $100 investment toward that should be a trivial issue.

I would agree with you to an extent definitely- except Patrick isn't the one fishing for controversy on this: One or two Other Indie Devs have already gone out to cry 'Class Warfare!' essentially doing the fishing themselves. :\

#148 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

$100 seems perfectly reasonable. Given the time and effort to produce something worth listing, $100 means very little. It will filter mass junk spam though. Great move.

#149 Edited by MrOldboy (871 posts) -

I'm all in favor of having some barrier to entry. I only want serious people submitting their games. Not 20,000 kids and their flash games. Why I have such a problem with kickstarter, they act like they vet, but c'mon really. If it is technically a project they will let it on since they get a cut of the money. At least Valve is trying.

I think the better solution is an initial vetting process, but that would take so much time and money if the service was free to submit. Hell I could submit my half-assed baseball RPG I made for a game dev class. It technically functions and has no game breaking bugs, but nobody would buy it because it looks and plays like ass. So I would never pay $100 to submit it. If it was free, why not, what do I have to lose. Nothing! Therefore here take my piece of shit game and clutter greenlight with it, mask other potentially worthy games.

#150 Posted by ajamafalous (12028 posts) -
@WarlockEngineerMoreDakka said:

@ajamafalous said:

I think you're fishing for controversy where there isn't any, Patrick. As a majority of the comments on this article have stated, nobody in their right mind would think this is a bad idea or "controversial." If a developer thinks their game is good enough to be on Steam then a $100 investment toward that should be a trivial issue.

I would agree with you to an extent definitely- except Patrick isn't the one fishing for controversy on this: One or two Other Indie Devs have already gone out to cry 'Class Warfare!' essentially doing the fishing themselves. :\

The general tone of the article says as much, and he even wrote "Valve's controversial decision" in the subhead.

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