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Steam Greenlight closes with mass approval of games

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‘Many’ of 3,400 on hold let through

greenlight Valve Corp.

Valve has batch-approved many of the 3,400 titles awaiting approval in the Steam Greenlight portal that it closed down last week.

In a note announcing the replacement for Greenlight, Steam Direct, Valve said it approved every game except for those that had insufficient voter data, or had concerns about them reported by others.

Steam Greenlight, introduced in 2012, was a crowd-voted means of approving games for distribution on the Steam marketplace. It was meant to keep Valve from evaluating and curating every project submitted to them, and to give Steam customers a say in highlighting games with little recognition.

Though borne of good intentions, Greenlight was criticized by developers as an uncertain and opaque process, and for letting through games at such a high volume that it was hard for any to stand out.

Last year alone, more than 4,000 new games were released on Steam. Valve didn't say how many of the 3,400 games pending were rejected. Developers paid a $100 fee to participate in Greenlight, and they're eligible for refunds if certain conditions are met. For those games that were approved, many likely still need to be finished before going on sale.

A new curation method, Steam Direct, replaced Steam Greenlight on Tuesday. In a note to developers, Valve mentioned that each application to release a game or VR experience on Steam will carry a $100 fee, which is returned after that app has at least $1,000 in sales or in-app purchases.

As for the application review process, "We specifically don't want an onerous and detailed certification process that makes it difficult for developers to release games," Valve says, "but we also want some level of confidence that games are configured correctly and aren't going to do unexpected things to customers' computers."

To that end, there will be "a couple of brief review periods," in which Valve plays the game to make sure it matches the store page description provided by the developer, is configured correctly, and doesn't contain malicious content. Valve says for a game correctly configured and submitted, this process should only take a couple of days.