Developers Mixed on Greenlight's $100 Submission Fee

#151 Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials (2373 posts) -

@Shivoa said:

@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!

From my perspective, putting the money down might seem like more of a tangible investment than spending time on the project, depending on how much work I had put in. I'm not saying it would matter to everyone, but every project and team is different.

#152 Posted by D_W (1148 posts) -

I like how all these arguments are sensible and well thought out. It's hard to really disagree with any of them. But I think the Dejobaan guy has it right. Though I'm not a fan of their games I certainly agree with his stance.

#153 Posted by BelligerentEngine (344 posts) -

I wipe my ass with $100 dollars every week, and I have a shitty job that doesn't pay well, if you can't "donate" $100 to charity for a proportionally much more valuable amount of exposure, not to mention the chance to have your games published on steam... Well then you're a piece of shit, and indeed are likely everything that is wrong with Indy game development.

#154 Posted by RuthLoose (807 posts) -

All of this butt hurt over the $100 license just makes me wonder when the troll "Something Awful/4Chan" Kickstarters will upload a bunch of Modern Warfare 3 parodies to mock Valve while also raising a ton of money for charity.

#155 Posted by Demoskinos (14770 posts) -

If your making a video game with the intention of selling it for cash monies and want to get on to steam one of the biggest platforms for games now days I say $100 is a drop in the bucket.

#156 Posted by benspyda (2033 posts) -

@LordAndrew said:

@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.

I'm currently developing for android and ios too and you can test your project in xcode but you can't test on your device until you cough up the dough. My gripe with apple is that it should be a one time fee not a yearly fee.

#157 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

@benspyda: Not an iOS developer, so I didn't realize testing on a device required payment. Thanks.

#158 Posted by RuthLoose (807 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

If your making a video game with the intention of selling it for cash monies and want to get on to steam one of the biggest platforms for games now days I say $100 is a drop in the bucket.

Not if you are part of Generation Phil Fish.

#159 Posted by TadThuggish (906 posts) -

If you can't afford $100, you're probably not able to make a video game in the first place. The only argument against it is "Well, I don't wanna!"

#160 Posted by Oi_Blimey (88 posts) -

@Deusoma said:

@Oi_Blimey said:

@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.

If you're not "rich" enough to get $100, then you probably don't have the equipment/facilities to help you in making a pc game. If people in your part of the world can afford a pc or laptop to make their game, $100 is not too much to ask.

And in the case of the argument that they borrowed the pc for making the game... well borrow the $100... if the game is not going to make the $100 back, then it really is a waste of time for everyone involved.

And what if it's a high-quality game that the creator wishes to give away for free, hmmm? There are plenty of free-to-play games on Steam. Charging money to give a game away seems an altogether different proposition.

What do you need Steam for when you want to give the game away for free? The goal going into the Greenlight program is to sell your game. Not give it for free. You can give it out for free somewhere else. If you need Steam to advertise your free game, then $100 is a really cheap advertisement fee. Do you have any idea how expensive it is to promote a game?

#161 Posted by SJSchmidt93 (4894 posts) -

$100 is such a small amount. I don't get it.

#162 Posted by Osaladin (2515 posts) -

People should be happy it's only a $100. You're trying to be successful in the video game business and you complain at that much money? Good luck.

#163 Edited by Kosayn (452 posts) -

Well, it's an opportunity where Origin, the Eshop, the Windows Store, and others which don't have a particularly robust indie empowerment mechanism yet could distinguish themselves relative to Steam. I like a lot of what Steam does, but a little competition never hurts. And neither does choosing to charge for a service. 'Merica, right?

#164 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1767 posts) -

@rebgav said:

It's $100. If you're not willing to gamble such a small amount of money against the quality of your product then you probably shouldn't be submitting it to Steam in the first place.

Also, this:

@Cogzwell said:

Well if you saw Greenlight the day it came out... it was just a pure cess pit with nothing worth supporting.

#165 Posted by TadThuggish (906 posts) -

You know what's great? Every single developer complaining will pony up their $100 to get on Greenlight anyway.

#166 Posted by R3DT1D3 (176 posts) -

Developers have to pay $100 to get into the IGF or even a one year licence to develop for iOS. Value for you money is pretty dang high even if you only get marketing without being greenlit.

#167 Posted by Detrian (1126 posts) -

I'm going to go ahead and say that if you can't afford paying a hundred bucks for a chance at being in the biggest PC gaming store in the planet, you should fuck right off.

#168 Posted by Lurkero (395 posts) -

Don't most services like Steam charge some type of fee to keep some kind of quality standard.

I don't want to spend 60-70 US Dollars each for the graduate schools I am applying for, but I understand that one of the reasons those charges exist is to make sure only dedicated applicants inquire. I feel that Valve felt it necessary to do so after observing the first days of the program.

After looking through many of the games some didn't even have screenshots and video. They don't belong on the Greenlight program if they can't even be bothered to show what the game is.

Also, if you don't have a marketing budget with at least $100 then there are other problems you should attend to.

#169 Posted by Hef (1112 posts) -

If you're trying to break into the game industry and think $100 isn't fair to get millions of people to see your game, well I honestly don't know what to tell you. Calling $100 drastic seems a little over-reactionary.

#170 Posted by ChrisTaran (1585 posts) -

I will never touch Greenlight again due to Valve's asinine $100 fee. There's supposed to be a lot of smart people at that company and this is what they come up with?

#171 Posted by EricNStuff (67 posts) -

If your game isn't worth $100 to put out there, it's probably not worth playing.

#172 Posted by billyhoush (1192 posts) -

It should be free and unfiltered so the service gets filled with garbage games no one will play.

#173 Posted by radioactivez0r (842 posts) -

I had no idea this was controversial. Thanks for cluing me in!

#174 Edited by falling_fast (2208 posts) -

if you're serious about getting yr game on steam, $100 is nothing, and it keeps out the trolls who will make the entire greenlight system look bad.

I think valve did the right thing.

#175 Posted by Fearbeard (826 posts) -

This sounds great...

I was already overwhelmed by the amount of crap I saw on Greenlight. There has to be some sort of barrier to entry to keep the thing manageable. $100 is expensive enough to keep most of bottom barrel stuff away, but cheap enough that anyone serious about their game will have no problem paying it.

#176 Posted by DG991 (1344 posts) -

Something about Patrick's opening sentence...

Not everything Valve touches turns to gold, so proveth the rocky launch for Steam Greenlight, and the ensuing response to the big changes Valve has made to its independent-focused service just a few days after launching.

I feel like it is targeted at Valve fan boys. I really don't think the $100 fee takes anything away from steam greenlight and I still think it is an awesome steam feature that Valve is providing. Although personally I think $10-20 would have served the same purpose as $100.

I am reminded of when Counter Strike: Source went on sale for like... a dollar or something a long while ago. Every server was filled with hackers for about a week because a bunch of people bought CS:S a few times so they could grief and hack on different accounts. But while CS:S was around $15-20 at the time, barley anyone would do something as pricey as buy a new account just to hack around.

#177 Edited by Bistromath (604 posts) -

A good article that enlightened me to some of the other sides on the changes to Greenlight.

My feelings are that a developer who won't (if they can't, they can't. that's a different story.) put up a $100 towards charity to get seen on the digital platform for PC games is just shooting themselves in the foot, and not thinking about their potential customers. Really it's the latter that annoys me as I have no desire to wade through pages of troll garbage.

Greenlight launch day was a mess, which immediately had me running away from it. This change has brought me back.

#178 Posted by jakob187 (21665 posts) -
Greenlight is meant to curb an increasing problem for Steam. The company cannot realistically judge every game that’s submitted for consideration.


We are talking about a company that runs the #1 way for people to play games on PC in the 21st century, the developers of nothing but successful franchises that sells millions of copies worldwide, and have recently been rumored to be working on hardware...which Gabe Newell all but saying "yeah, we basically are".

Valve can't hire enough people to test the games for approval? Bullshit.

#179 Posted by JDillinger (147 posts) -

More fuel to the fire Valve created this because they're cheap as fuck.

#180 Posted by SearingLight (18 posts) -

On the whole, I felt that nearly all of the points made here were quite salient, and informative to the decisions being made for and on Greenlight. Being only a consumer, I personally see nothing but benefit from the $100 fee, as - much like stated above - it keeps those with the intention of putting something obviously meant to clog up the service away (albeit, unfortunately, not all), and hopefully shows that most of the projects submitted will be 'truer' works with honest-to-goodness effort behind them.

There's one statement, however, that I believe shows a level of naïvety that I thought only possible of other sub-classes of popular culture (especially anime and other traditionally marginalized ones): O'Reilly's "traditionally poor people" quip.

That was the state of the industry in... never. Gamers will always pay for games that they want, given the (admittedly, convenient) means by which to do so. This has been proven time and time again by Steam, GOG, Amazon, arcades (before the advent of the affordable home console and true single-player games) and, hell, even Kickstarter. Those pirates that make these arguments now are lambasted by some of the only voices that the industry is able to call mainstream, and have increasingly few avenues via which to actually validate their argument or perpetuate their actions.

Admittedly, most of modern gaming's audience is made up of people living independently and with little disposable income to their name. Yet, when game sales are setting records in the entertainment industry as a whole, O'Reilly's argument becomes not only moot, but absurd. No matter if those that purchase these games purchase merely that game alone for the year, they are still gamers, and constitute full and legitimate members of the "hobby" and industry on the whole. Poor or not, game sales, development, and trends do not reflect this statement at all.

This argument would only make sense should gaming's sales distribution stratum look more like that of the Japanese import market (specifically anime and manga). Which is already drawn moot since that particular industry's dominant age base's sole income is considered discretionary anyways.

I am making a large issue out of a small one, yes, but in the (paraphrased) famous words of the Second World of Wayne: "if you publish it it, they will come."

#181 Posted by ch3burashka (5041 posts) -

@ChrisTaran said:

I will never touch Greenlight again due to Valve's asinine $100 fee. There's supposed to be a lot of smart people at that company and this is what they come up with?

What makes this less legitimate? Rather than make up some touchy-feely BS option where there are multiple tiers of voting, as was suggested in the above post, cut off all the dumb shit off at the pass and make anyone serious about their game put their money where their mouth is.

I've never had to deal with poverty, so I don't understand or can't really see the world from a truly poor person's point of view - I can't really fathom a situation where $100 is too much to invest in your own project, but surely there are people like that out there. For them, this really is too high a barrier. For everyone else (which, honestly, is like 99% of cases) this shouldn't be such a big deal. Like Alexander Bruce said, if your game wouldn't make the prerequisite 100 bucks sans the fee, then you shouldn't pay up anyway. Not only does it stop all the chaff and stupid stuff, it'll make indies evaluate their game on a more economic level.

#182 Posted by axx1000 (37 posts) -

just kickstart the $100

#183 Posted by logicfracture (158 posts) -

This is a great idea. Should weed out a lot of the fake/horrible games.

#184 Posted by dr_mantas (1840 posts) -

Oh, come on. 100$ is small enough to be manageable for pretty much any indie developer, but big enough to be a deterrent for joke and spam submissions. It's fine.

#185 Posted by Lazyaza (2176 posts) -

One of the games I saw on greenlight had unaltered Daz3d models in it. Fucking Daz3d models. It's like submitting a photography resume with stock photos. Thus the $100 entry fee seems completely reasonable to me as it will surely help prevent garbage from making its way on Steam. I sympathize with people in dire financial situations but as a creative person who has more than one source of income and generally doesn't find it hard to manage I do think its odd that in this day and age some people still rely entirely on a single thing to get their money, especially if that thing isn't a guarantee. Madness.

#186 Edited by scottygrayskull (440 posts) -
including fake version of Half-Life 3.

That's the one that did it. If people have to suffer so Gabe Newell can troll the internet for the rest of time, then so be it.

#187 Posted by Seeric (149 posts) -

I was a bit iffy on the $100 fee at first, but after thinking on it for a bit I fully support it. A lower price would have reduced the joke entries and the endless 'request entries', but it wouldn't have stopped the low quality stuff which is put up with good intentions, but which bogs down the more realistic products and which were already starting to give Greenlight a reputation similar to that of XBLIG.

More so than joke and request entries, games made by clearly-new developers or which were in such an early state that they literally consisted of little other than some screenshots of poorly-rendered/drawn fields and houses were flooding in like crazy (and they were at least technically legitimate entries so they couldn't simply be reported away either). The former cases tended to be met only with rude remarks and would have found more legitimate criticism on other sites/services while nothing could really be done at all with the latter other than to tell them "you really should have done more before posting this here". A lower fee wouldn't have stopped most of these entries from getting posted, but $100 will make developers stop and think about if they have really made a quality product or if their product is really in a state worth advertising it in.

Not to mention, even if a developer is in such a position that $100 is a lot of money to them, Kickstarter or shopping it around to various indie sites and asking for donations and/or pre-orders are both pretty easy ways for a game of decent quality to raise the amount (and even if Steam never accepts their game, the sheer level of visibility Greenlight can give should at the very least lead to $100 in sales over time).

#188 Edited by EXTomar (4687 posts) -

The best reason to have this fee is that there needs to be some sort of "barrier to entry" to keep out trolls and quickly thought/ill conceived ideas.

Given the cost of development (hardware, software, man hours), $100 is not the part that is the serious investment. There are issues with Greenlight where this fee isn't close to the problem.

#189 Posted by dyong (331 posts) -

Of course the person behind the trolliest game of all time, IWBTG, is against the listing fee.

#190 Posted by unholyone123 (198 posts) -

I'm 100% behind Valve on this. $100 is more than reasonable for a fee. What is $100, when your game could potentially make thousands of dollars through steam. Hell, last night I worked about a 5 hour shift, and made just shy of $50. Even at minimum wage you could get there in no time. I've already seen a lot of interesting games that I will continue to follow even if they are not greenlit.

#191 Posted by YummyTreeSap (308 posts) -

Can someone clue me in as to what the fuck the point of Greenlight is anyway? It's not like indie devs can't get their games on Steam as it is. I don't see how placing your game amid a popular vote, one of the worst ways to judge something's quality, with the hope that maybe just maybe it will eventually get onto the service, would be appealing to anyone. And now that it costs money to submit, why not just directly submit it to Steam, or are they not doing that or something now (this can't be true unless they want to completely destroy what they've built re indie games)?

I don't get it.

#192 Posted by Xymox (2083 posts) -

@unholyone123 said:

I'm 100% behind Valve on this. $100 is more than reasonable for a fee. What is $100, when your game could potentially make thousands of dollars through steam. Hell, last night I worked about a 5 hour shift, and made just shy of $50. Even at minimum wage you could get there in no time. I've already seen a lot of interesting games that I will continue to follow even if they are not greenlit.

Indeed. Same.

It also keeps clutter off the list. I've seen enough Red Dead Redemption, copies of russian Minecraft, Half-Life 3, Half-Life Episode 3, GTA, and FIFA games on greenlight.

Games cost like $60 at full price. So this is less than the price of 2 games. Why even have a steam account if you can't fork up $100 (to charity, even) for the chance to get your game posted to the most popular digital PC game release outlet there is and if it's good, potentially make that back and THEN some? I mean, how did these people even buy a computer, let alone find enough spare time to learn a programming language?

I think the image of indie devs as being poor, ambitious, innovative and completely unable to release their wonderful game which will change gaming forever, because of being poor, is just skewed...

If you're a studio, heck even a one man studio, and you're not making enough to buy 1-2 full priced games currently, maybe you should look into getting a job or put some money aside.

#193 Posted by BadNews (506 posts) -

I don't see how $100 to charity is such a bad move. After seeing a lot of the shit in there I was discouraged to keep voting. I mean $100 bucks isn't that much and even still these people are putting links to purchase their games offsite. It's advertising to hundreds of thousands of gamers even if they don't make the cut. And it's a one time fee for the developer so they don't have to hammer away at it if they decide that there second submission is gonna be the one that they try harder on. Not to mention it's not liek the submissions go away ever. Your piece of shit game is gonna be advertised for years to come by you donating $100 to charity! I really don't understand what the issue is?

#194 Posted by echronorian (21 posts) -

This pretty much sabotages all of my Greenlight hijinks.

#195 Posted by echronorian (21 posts) -

Now the only comedy option is to vote No on anything that isn't a Military FPS

#196 Posted by Nomin (971 posts) -

$100 fee per developer, not each game they submit. Sometimes there are too many opinions and purported controversy on the most mundane thing, it seems.

#198 Posted by Tordah (2478 posts) -

@rebgav said:

It's $100. If you're not willing to gamble such a small amount of money against the quality of your product then you probably shouldn't be submitting it to Steam in the first place.

Exactly. This can only be a good thing. Even if you don't make it, that's $100 you're giving to charity. The amount of retarded joke submissions and awful unfinished homebrew projects on Greenlight was getting out of hand quickly. This should solve that problem.

#199 Posted by kalmis (1558 posts) -

Funny thing is that had those Dejobaan Games been on other side they would have probably never made it.

#200 Posted by DFSVegas (353 posts) -

$100 for the potential for a ton of promotion of your game, and eventual release of your game in one of the most successful marketplaces on the planet.

I'm sorry, how is this not a steal?


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