Indies get chance to voice concerns over Valve's community curation platform

Steam Greenlight visibility ‘not enough’

The Steam Greenlight community voting portal doesn’t have enough visibility, argued indie developer Intravenous Software in an online get-together hosted by Valve.

Greenlight, which went live late last year, allows the Steam Community to vote for projects they’d like to see on the digital store, in addition to those currated by Valve.

The transcript provided by Crunching Koalas features Valve’s Tom Bui revealing that Greenlight has attracted roughly two million voters.

For some developers, this still wasn’t enough..

"Many people I know don’t visit Greenlight pages because they forget it exists," wrote a representative from the developer.

"Would it be possible to give it a more prominent position within Steam?"

Bui pointed out that Valve has a Greenlight space on the Steam front page and all Steam users get an IM notifying them of the next round of Greenlight picks.

"I understand that but it’s not enough. You have millions of members and maybe 15k regular greenlight viewers. Something is wrong," countered the developer.

"I’m not talking about votes, I’m talking about visitors. I know a number of Devs, and each get about 15k visitors in the first week. Then it falls off a cliff.

"That tells me you have 15k people who come look at Greenlight on a weekly basis, and about 5k who check it once a month. Considering you have millions of members, don’t you think those numbers are very low. Only games that get media attention get any more visitors than that."

Traffic was an issue for a few other developers as well, with developer Space Bullet suggesting that there have been sharp declines since launch.

Valve says this simply isn’t true.

"Traffic in Greenlight has actually been pretty steady since after the big spike at launch," said said Valve’s Alden Kroll.

Valve headman Gabe Newell has already said he thinks Valve will be doing away with Greenlight in favour of an even more community-oriented approach, but that could take quite some time.

"Gabe has talked about where we see game distribution going in the future," said Kroll.

"But there’s a lot of unknowns and a bunch of work between here and there. Steam and Greenlight will evolve over time as we iterate and improve the system with your input."

In the meantime, Bui said developers can take heart that Valve is working to make the Steam API available to Greenlight developers before their project actually gets approval.

"This is something we are actively looking into," said Bui, who added that there wasn’t a timetable in place for the feature.

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