The Jimquisition: An Episode About Steam Direct Being Better Or Worse Than Greenlight

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Greenlight is finally dying after years of promises, to be replaced by… a thing.

Steam Direct is Valve’s latest attempt at finding a content-to-quality balance. What does your ol’ pal Jim think? Let’s find out!

Marcus Cohen
Guest
Marcus Cohen

Can I somehow unsee those tomato things please? Thank you.

InfamousDS
Member
InfamousDS

No, but you can see more on Jim’s YouTube Channel!

LMN76
Guest
LMN76

Thinking about it, this is likely more about getting rid of the YOLO Army marketing types, then it is about quality control. Sure you’ll get rid of a handful of destitute children, but I’m not sure that a fixed financial barrier of any level is going to be that much more likely to get rid of shovelware factories than indies. If we’re lucky, not disproportionately rewarding bad marketing behavior might let a few more mediocre games through improving the the average quality from bloody diarrhea to firm turds.

Hiroshi_Mishima
Guest
Hiroshi_Mishima
I’ve seen a number of developers and such (like Steam Spy) talking about this whole situation. The most common comment (groan) is that Greenlight wasn’t actually as bad as Jim makes it out to be, even though I personally only ever found a couple of good games out of it before realizing it was just a cavalcade of mediocrity. The other frequent mention is that the amount of garbage getting released isn’t actually hurting real developers all that much. I’m not sure how much I agree with that. It’s true that, if you explore your Queue, you can find some… Read more »
Damian Yerrick
Guest

Sell the game on Itch until you’ve earned enough for the Steam Direct deposit.

Nitrium
Member

But you do have enough disposable income to both have an internet connection AND purchase video games on Steam?!

Some Guy In A Waistcoat
Guest

Because living on Disability means that you are only allowed the barest minimum required to survive, and anything above that means you have terrible priorities?

The sheer gall of those sick people. Thinking they’re allowed trivial luxuries like they’re people?

Hiroshi_Mishima
Guest
Hiroshi_Mishima

Well, we’re quite presumptuous, aren’t we?

I live with family, part of the problem with being disabled is that.. you know, you can’t actually go out and find work. I can’t afford to pay what California charges for homes or even rent. Low Rent Housing is often a several years long waiting list, incidentally.

Also, internet is something the entire household can use, and it’s relatively cheap. Speaking of cheap, games on Steam are often under $10 when I purchase them.

You make it sound like the average gamer has disposable income.

Nitrium
Member

Not presumptuous at all, which is why I framed it as a question rather than a statement of fact. The only reason I queried was because here in New Zealand I just don’t see how you’d mange it, given how pathetically meagre the disability benefit is, and I know it’s even lower in other countries. Living with others certainly makes it all far easier to cope in those sort of situations.

Hiroshi_Mishima
Guest
Hiroshi_Mishima

Ah, I see. That makes more sense with the added context. Sorry for getting defensive about it. I don’t know about other states, but California has a high cost of living compared to many in the US. I probably save quite a bit considering I don’t own a car or pay for the insurance, so that leaves room for video games.

Some Guy In A Waistcoat
Guest
I feel you. Granted, the UK is slightly different; but if it weren’t for the fact that my girlfriend can pick up the slack, I’d have a hard time renting anywhere. Long-term disability means I can’t even get out of the house most days without assistance, let alone hold down a job. What little I have comes from squirrelling away what I can of my disability payments. It’s taken me a year to get the parts together for a new gaming PC. The little luxuries are what stop me from going crazy cooped up in the house most of the… Read more »
Sidrat Flush
Guest

Don’t stop enjoying the little luxuries as they make life worth sticking around for.

If it were up to some people anyone who needs to claim benefits would be banned from any and all form of entertainment regardless of the personal benefit they get from it. Enjoy fiscal exclusion as well as social exclusion, don’t worry about those walls closing in around you it’s all in your head which would be the final place for entertainment but is now a barren wasteland due to lack of stimuli.

Imperial soul
Guest
Imperial soul

I do disagree I think critics do not have the right to tell a company what they can and cannot sell .
If someone is stupid enough to buy shove ware without at least googleing it they deserve everything they get .
If a shop wants to sell crap it can sell crap just don’t buy it for Pete sake common sense people .

Jim has spent years moaning about this stuff and has it helped no it’s just got worse.
And why Because most anti consumer thing in video games is the consumer.

Toozin
Guest
Toozin

If Valve is so afraid of paying some QA testers, why don’t they outsource the job to some YouTube Let’s Players? Give them some game codes for submitted games and let them play for 15 – 30 minutes, and then let their reactions and the viewers reactions speak for themselves. They’d probably happily do it for next to nothing for the most part and just rake in the ad revenue and exposure. It’s not a perfect solution by any stretch, but at least it’s better than doing nothing and assuming money = quality.

Anton
Member
Anton

Jesus christ, that intro…

jedimastercosmin
Guest
jedimastercosmin

Notice how the YouTube comment section mentions it continuously and yet over here it’s like “yeah… nothing out of the ordinary” 😛

Nitrium
Member

Well there are TWENTY times as many comments on YouTube for this video as there are here. If you take that into account does it still hold (given that so far one in 60 have mentioned it here)?

Allan Weallans
Member

Sales from the recommendation queue going up is unsurprising, but doesn’t mean that feature is a success. I use that feature not because it’s good, but because trying to browse titles any other way has become like wading through effluent three feet deep. It’s a liferaft, not a flagship.

Watchmedance
Guest
Watchmedance

It was basically useless anyway until Steam updated it to allow users to exclude games using certain tags anyway. I don’t play dating sims or visual novels, and for a while that queue presented me with countless numbers of those until I just stopped using it altogether.

The update at least got me using it again, but it still bombards with every new release that comes out.

Otherhand
Guest
Otherhand

Well, if nobody else is going to say it…

DICK SPANNER, P.I.

I SAW THAT REFERENCE

Stormbringer
Member
Hmm, I might have played some of those XXX “reviews” if the first one wasn’t just a blurred screen all the way through to the end. Well, no, I probably won’t. I have to draw the line somewhere. It’s fun to work some clips into the regular videos though … and what the hell was that opening? No don’t tell me. I need mystery in “the universe.” (I don’t know what is so fucking interesting about Steam. I’ve never used it, and I wouldn’t want a game I made on it. But I don’t use smartphones or anything like that,… Read more »
MM
Guest
MM

I’d even go as far as suggesting it is a good thing. Maybe even a *very* good thing. : )
Although I could do away with the allusion to the pr0n industry, however ‘thematic’ it may be. The ‘mystery’ is fine tho.

Drake Warnock
Guest
Drake Warnock

You know I’ve been looking forward to some news that was supposed to come out around now. This news revolves around some tribulations that a particular person who has certainly made my life a bit brighter has been going through. These tribulations are to be over right around now and I’ve been anxiously awaiting news on this.

After watching this video, I can definitely say that I’m a bit less anxious, and that I see what you did there.

You…made a video about Steam Greenlight, of course.

LMN76
Guest
LMN76

I think a ~$1000 fee is workable if the recuperation is structured properly. If, for example, Steam credited back their 30% cut minus a transaction fee until it’s paid back, it would not be that odious for indies. The key would be having the transaction fee that have a small fixed component (like Paypal’s $0.30+2.9%) where $0.99 games won’t be able to recoup any of the fee, meaning the developer has to be selling a game that can either actually demand $5+, or able to sell enough at $1-$2 that the fee is insignificant.

MJC
Guest
MJC

Unrelated to Greenlight but still shitty from Valve, Steam is already DRM. Why do they let games include more DRM?! If you buy Watch Dogs 2 on Steam you get to deal with Steamworks PLUS UPlay PLUS Denuvo. Not even two forms of DRM was enough, it gets up to three!! Valve should restrict that shit, and companies can either play ball and lay off the added bullshit or they can try to forge their own marketplace and good luck to them with that if they get a bad reputation for filling their games with garbage DRM.

Bilateralrope
Guest
Bilateralrope

If Valve tries to stop those games with additional DRM, publishers will just go to another digital distribution platform. One that allows the DRM.

qorl123
Guest
qorl123

Yeah man. Fuck uplay and fuck denuvo. Ubi can just do whatever they please I guess.

FireroseNekowolf
Member

But if they don’t have as much DRM as possible, they’ll lose BILLIONS to pirates!

BILLIONS I TELL YOU! Cause when you pirate a game, you rape America. You monster.

Artemiy
Guest
Artemiy

MILLIONS of people pirate games and cost our beloved America BILLIONS of dollars! And Jim FakeNews Sterling is silent about it! And the incident in Sweden yesterday! SAD!

Octopus Grift
Member

I wonder what will happen with early access after Steam Direct comes through.

Mandrake42
Guest
Mandrake42

Well plenty of games that don’t run the Greenlight gauntlet come out as early access, so I can’t imagine it will make a difference. It’s not like early access was something exclusive to Greenlight.

RifleAvenger Sashiro
Guest
RifleAvenger Sashiro

Sony must have known this was going to happen. That’s why they’re moving to fill in the void!

Daemoroth
Guest
Daemoroth
Sadly, this isn’t the solution, this is just Valve seeing an opportunity to increase their earnings and lower their accountability. What they *should* do, is take 1% of their profits (Last reported estimate pegged it at $730 million profit, not revenue) and hire a dedicated QC team, they can hire ten people paid in advance for TEN years with 1% of that profit. PS – That $730m profit was on $1.5b revenue. A newer estimate from 2015 has estimated revenue at $3.5b. Unfortunately no profit estimate for that one, but if the ratio remained intact even a little? Yeah, they… Read more »
Mandrake42
Guest
Mandrake42

Well, the money paid is supposed to be fully refundable. That said, Valve has given no idea as to how that is to happen. I’m guessing that its if the game isn’t dreck? They would have to do QA to do that. Also, that doesn’t seem fair, look at all the dreck released by non indie devs that is sold freely on the Steam storefront.

La Chica Incognita
Guest
La Chica Incognita
I wholeheartedly disagree with having the financial barrier being as low as 500 dollars. I mean…that’s pretty much nothing when you consider it a business expense and 500 bucks wouldn’t be a daunting expense to five kids circle jerking each other like BMC games. 500 bucks would be a fraction of their weekly teenage paychecks if they shared the cost thus prove to be no real barrier. Hell nearly 500 bucks was raised by Digihom to try to fund their ludicrous lawsuit against you and if those absolute failures of human life could raise that much money I’m sure ANYONE… Read more »
qorl123
Guest
qorl123

The rpgmaker stuff is fine. Rpgmaker games weren’t the problem.

La Chica Incognita
Guest
La Chica Incognita
I was referring to the devs being creepy fucks using RPG Maker to make games rather than the engine itself being bad. Jim did a video on a few of them but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg due to RPG Maker being accessible enough that it takes practically no coding skill to use. Though to be honest I don’t really particularly feel a lot of RPG Maker games deserve to be on Steam. Out of all the RPG maker games I’ve seen advertised on Steam (the storefront, not greenlight) maybe 10% of them are actually worth being… Read more »
Some Guy In A Waistcoat
Guest
When you explain your point that way, then… Yeah. They really don’t. And I say that as somebody who’s been in the engine’s community when Don Miguel was a name revered. I think part of the issue is people making their first or even second ever game in the engine, and then releasing it to the world, genuinely proud of their accomplishment instead of taking what they learned and putting that to work on something more refined. I’m still not sure myself if that’s a shortcoming of the Greenlight community, or the RPG Maker culture. At least you can be… Read more »
La Chica Incognita
Guest
La Chica Incognita
As a little kid I had one of the early version of RPG maker and would cobble together random assets (mostly recolors/edits from SNES games) and I hate to say most of what I see floating around looks like just super polished versions of that. They very well might be good and something the dev should be proud of but still not Steam material…or at least not what I personally would envision the Steam storefront should be. I don’t want to sound all down on RPG Maker games, though, as there are plenty of deserving RPG Maker games out there.… Read more »
Mandrake42
Guest
Mandrake42

Let’s not forget To The Moon as well. Also the guy who did The Deed did a series of games in the RPG Maker engine called Space Pilgrim that were actually graphic adventures. It was an interesting use of the engine.

Some Guy In A Waistcoat
Guest
Exactly. RPGM is just a licensed engine. It can be abused like any other. In fairness, the ease of using the basic engine and the purchasable assets *do* make it easier for people to push out complete drek. But that’s also true of Gamemaker, Unity, and even UE to a degree. The quality of the game comes down to how much effort the dev is willing to put into actually making something decent. There’re plenty of excellent indie games made with one version of RPG Maker or another. Off the top of my head there’s Romancing Saga, Alter AILA, Final… Read more »
Mandrake42
Guest
Mandrake42

Skyborn by Dancing Dragon is quite good. A lot of custom assets and a solid story.

Some Guy In A Waistcoat
Guest

I’ve definitely got to get around to finishing that game at some point. I loved the soundtrack and narrative – it was just hard to give a damn about most of the characters.

Stormbringer
Member

Romancing SaGa is a SquareSoft game.

Some Guy In A Waistcoat
Guest

Yeah, I meant to type ‘Walker’. Thanks for the catch!

George
Member

I agree, I personally don’t think 1000 is too much when one considers the amount of time and energy it takes to make a decently crafted game. Especially, if we are talking about a legit business attempting to sell a product; however, the caveat I would place is that such a fee is indeed reimbursed and adjusted for local currency.
1000 American would be difficult for a dev in Brazil or even Canada to pull together.

Gregory McIntyre
Guest
Gregory McIntyre

what is the poop game at 9:25 I wanna suggest it for LRR watch and play.

Aaron Cole
Guest
Aaron Cole

To add on to it Valve is also revisiting paid mods again. So expect that particular bit of nastiness to come back into the spotlight.

Concubinary Code
Member

I hope it’s met with even more vitriol than before but I’m expecting it’ll be the opposite.

George
Member

Hope for the best I guess…

Bashtarle
Guest
Bashtarle
Yeah initially the whole “No more Greenlight” sounded great but the more I thought about it….. the less great it sounded to me. For exactly the reasons touched so eloquently in this video. Valve couldn’t be bothered to curate Greenlight when they where essentially crowd sourcing the whole thing…. why would I ever think they would actively curate a metric crapton of games when they stop crowd sourcing. The only thing this really seems to change is it might shut up the developers who where bitching about it being “unfair” that their games where languishing on Greenlight. While other developers… Read more »
Za_Docta
Guest
Za_Docta

By the gods, I thought I knew darkness…
but the intro.

Nitrium
Member

Believe me, there is far, FAR darker out there.

Za_Docta
Guest
Za_Docta

Not the content itself, just the realizations.
Like when you come home and find some other guy’s boxers in your room and realize your girlfriend was cheating on you. The boxers aren’t the scary part, the information they imply is.

BiG_bEn523
Guest
BiG_bEn523
Greenlight HAD TO GO. While there are many great games that have come out of it, the Deep that is Greenlight was beginning to corrupt the joys of browsing the Steam storefront, much like the Deep was corrupting the Way of the White to the point we were forced to rummage through zombies and bright as day corruption in how those games were greenlighted in the first place. Yeah Dark Souls fan here. Also, does having an asthma attack while watching a strip show in a smokey bar in Broadway Blvd sort of count as an erotic asphyxiation moment? Don’t… Read more »
Austin_sj
Guest
Austin_sj

Maybe they could charge on a sliding scale based on the rrp set by the dev?
£500 for a game at £5 or under.
£1000 for £20 or under.
£5000 for £60 or under.
Dollar prices could be roughly identical. Dev could recoup 75% if they sold enough.
This way a shitty 99p game would have to sell 625 copies to break even. Which is doable if a game is good.

Jarin
Guest
Jarin

The way they were reporting it initially, the whole cost gets recouped from Valve’s cut of sales. So a $1000 buy-in for a $50 game, means they only have to sell like, 60 copies. (valve taking a 30% cut). I suspect in the end it’ll be a longer process than that, though.

alextulu
Guest
alextulu

“We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account.”

So, Greenlight doesn’t require any kind of paperwork? You just pay the fee and that’s it?

“developers will pay a recoupable application fee for each new title they wish to distribute”

Why didn’t Greenlight work like this in the first place?

Mickey 'Pyrian' Callahan
Guest
Mickey 'Pyrian' Callahan
Getting ONTO Greenlight is pretty much just pay the fee, upload your media and descriptions, and publish away. Once you’re Greenlit and want to publish an actual game and maybe even get your cut of sales, there’s a “set of digital paperwork” that seems suspiciously similar to what they’re saying here. Basically, everyone can just skip Greenlight, but there’s a “recoupable” fee to publish a game. As to why Greenlight has a fee to sign up but no fee per game… I dunno. It was originally altogether free! I kind of think the fee should’ve been per-game all along, would’ve… Read more »
Nitrium
Member

Well I guess there’s always the Sony PS4 store for these devs to dump their shovelware [ducks].

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