Steam Greenlight has been live for slighty over two weeks. In this time it has seen the submission of hundreds of games, a change from a free submission to a $100 paid submission, much public scrutiny about the discoverability of titles on Greenlight and discussion about whether its simply a popularity contest
Despite this, people are already jumping to conclusions about the sort of games that players are looking for in Greenlight after the announcement of the first batch of 10 games Valve will be releasing on Steam. Amongst the inclusions were perennial favorites such as Black Mesa, No More Room In Hell and Project Zomboid – titles that have huge community followings as it is.
The question I’d like to pose is why people are making judgements on what players are looking for based on 16 days of the service being available. 16 days that has been, at best, a mess of a launch. What we have are 10 games with existing community followings and a system that doesn’t encourage exploration or discoverability on the part of players. Not only that, but suggesting that designers take something away from this first 16 days is irresponsible.
As it stands, Valve doesn’t release any details about player habits and title/genre popularity on Steam, nor do we know or understand the correlation between these players and the players who vote and visit Greenlight. We simply don’t know which markets Steam is appealing to right now (as we have no sales figures) and what market is actually visiting Greenlight. To attempt to infer details about a market based on the small fraction of the 50 million players who use Steam is a poor approach.
What we have is a young system that’s the first of its kind to be made available to players and a set of already very popular games to get voted as the first 10. Anyone who didn’t expect the first games to be big-name titles is kidding themselves. Lets give Greenlight a chance to mature and see what other games get Greenlit before jumping to conclusions.