Towards the end of the Steam Greenlight program, concerns began to rise over the submission and approval process for games. Steam Direct had raised more concerns over the fact that the submission process for games was limited to an application fee and paperwork, leading to problems finding games and lack of review.
Figures are now beginning to appear that show the scale of the discoverability and potential saturation is at an all time high. Daniel Ahmad, an analyst at Niko Partners who looks at the Chinese and Southeast Asian games market, has tweeted that figures for 2017 are already higher than 2015 and are higher than the combined totals of 2006-2014. It looks set to eclipse the record set in 2016 for games released in a year on the platform.
Updated the number of Steam games released per year chart.
2017 already higher than 2015. Over 1,300 new games since Steam Direct launched pic.twitter.com/KySFREY44w
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) September 8, 2017
The figures are massively skewed by the fact that over 1,300 of these games have been released since the Steam Direct service launched in June, which is roughly a third of all games released so far, and that figure is set to continue its rise. UK consultancy group, ICO partners, regularly tweet an update on weekly Steam release figures via analyst, Thomas Bidaux. For last week (September 4th-10th), 160 new games were released on Steam.
It isn’t clear how many of these titles were already due to be submitted by developers, but Valve cleared the backlog of Greenlight submissions as the service shut down this year, which meant that 3,400 titles were greenlit. Valve has detailed the review process for Steam Direct submissions on its blog. It reads:
"Building a release pipeline to support thousands of developers and millions of customers is a delicate balance. We specifically don’t want an onerous and detailed certification process that makes it difficult for developers to release games, but we also want some level of confidence that games are configured correctly and aren’t going to do unexpected things to customers’ computers. So we have a couple of brief review periods where our team plays each game to check that it is configured correctly, matches the description provided on the store page, and doesn’t contain malicious content. These processes shouldn’t take more than a day or two unless we find something configured incorrectly or problematic."