So… Valve just announced on Friday that Steam Greenlight is going away this spring and it will be replaced by Steam Direct. In many ways, it feels like a way to decrease noise and cull submissions through offering developers a way to directly register their games but doing so for a recoupable fee.
Although we agree that there are valid reasons to try to curate and raise the quality bar within Steam (and other platforms), there’s a danger that quality games made by talented developers will not make it onto Steam given that the fee in question could end up being anywhere between $100 and $5000. The closer we get to the higher end of that spectrum the bigger the danger becomes of players losing out on some real gems that would never come to surface.
In many ways, this cuts to one of the core reasons why Raw Fury even became a thing. Most of us have been The Little Guy, most of us know the struggle that comes with it. We took similar risks starting our own outfit–it’s tumultuous to say the least–and we care about making sure that talented developers get the chance of getting their game out there into the hands of as many players as possible.
We chatted amongst ourselves and came to an immediate understanding that there had to be something we could do to contribute to the indie community, so we’ve decided to try to financially support some developers that are doing amazing things but might struggle with Steam Direct if the fee ends up being on the expensive side like $1000 or above by paying the fee for them. We wouldn’t ask for any stake in games we support in this way, we’d just pay the fee upfront and give the dev team a high five. If the game is successful enough we’d ask for the fee to be paid back BUT ONLY BECAUSE we’d use those same funds to continue this effort for other devs and restart the dev cycle of life. So, to begin this initiative, we’ll curate and limit the number of games we’ll support and see how this plays out. There are also some details to work out like setting up the process for submission, a payback scheme that makes sense, making sure the developers are put first, etc.
Now, we don’t have a big team and we’re nervous as hell stepping into this as we could get overwhelmed, and we don’t want to let developers down–both those that would receive this sort of support but also those we’re currently working with and have taken on obligations for. But we believe this is absolutely worth the risk.
We’ll announce details when we have a clearer picture of what the fee is and how Steam Direct will ultimately function. For now though, we wanted to chime in on the overall discussion and let developers know that this will be a potential option. We want your feedback and thoughts, give us a shout on Twitter, email, or in our Discord!