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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Valve's $100 Listing Fee for Steam Greenlight Seems Excessive

Yesterday afternoon Valve announced that they would require a fee of $100 for initial submissions to the Steam Greenlight service. The 100 bucks gets donated to the Child's Play charity since Valve has said that they "have no interest in making money from this."

To me, $100 seems ridiculously high. Obviously Valve is trying to cut down on the amount of "LOL HALF-LIFE 3" submissions, but this feels a little excessive. Someone who wants to submit something stupid for a few laughs is going to think twice when they need to fork over even $5 or $10, let alone $100. I feel like $25 would lower the barrier to entry to a much more reasonable level.

Granted, Steam Greenlight offers indie devs an opportunity for a metric ton of exposure. If your ultimate goal is to get your game listed on Steam, $100 isn't much in the grand scheme of things, especially when that money is donated to charity. With that being said, not everyone has 100 bucks of disposable income laying around ready to go - for some people that would cut into the beer and Ramen fund, or even worse, rent money.

Nowadays all you need are a PC and an Internet connection to get started, so a lot of the games getting submitted to Greenlight probably started with a couple of guys in a dorm room. These devs face a steep enough challenge in just getting noticed; monetary barriers don't need to factor in on top of that. Hopefully Valve wises up and adjusts the submission fee before too long.

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