Steam’s new Greenlight feature launched last week, quickly attracting all sorts of games for the community to vote on for potential inclusion in Steam‘s catalog. There’s just one problem with that: since there weren’t any kind of submission requirements in place when Greenlight launched, the door was opened for all sorts of spammers to put fake and offensive games up on the Greenlight page. These submissions ranged from sex games and 9/11 games to fake listings for titles like Half-Life 3 and Minecraft, and after a while, wading through all of that spam to find legitimate games became a chore.
So, with this spam problem running rampant, Valve has decided to make a pretty major change to the way Greenlight works. Now, developers will have to pay a $100 fee to get their game listed on the Steam Greenlight page. Valve assured that developers who already had their game up on Greenlight won’t have to retroactively pay the hundred bucks for their submissions, but made it clear that everyone will have to pay $100 per submission moving forward.
Steam isn’t keeping the money either, instead donating all of the cash it pulls in from Greenlight submissions to Child’s Play. “We have no interest in making money from this, but we do need to cut down the noise in the system,” Valve UI designer Alden Kroll wrote in a Steam Community announcement. Some are complaining that the $100 fee is too steep – especially for those who want to make their games free-to-play – while others are saying that this is just what was needed to cut back on Greenlight spam.
Regardless of the debate over the amount of the fee, this should do a lot to keep spammers off the Greenlight page. After all, plenty of people are obviously willing to create false Half-Life 3 listings when there aren’t any barriers to submission, but we’re thinking that a very small number of those people are willing to pay a $100 fee to make their joke listings visible. What do you think about this new Greenlight submission requirement?