End could be nigh for community-voting scheme and store curation

[Update] Leadwerks Workshop suggests devs can circumvent Greenlight and publish games straight to Steam

Update 2: A Valve spokesperson has confirmed games can be released through the Steam Workshop site, but there is no official support for selling games this way. He added for a full game launch, developers would still need to go through Steam Greenlight.

"We’re happy to support developers using the Workshop to distribute their free games and reach an audience through game engine Workshops," read a statement.

"RPG Maker and GameMaker have been doing this for a while already, and it’s great to see more support this path.

"Once those game developers are ready to make their games available for sale via the Steam store, they will need to post their games to Greenlight for consideration by customers."

Leadwerks CEO Josh Klint has also provided further details on how publishing through the Workshop works.

"We have a ‘Game Player’ built into our editor that can play Lua games," he said. "It works by running our own executable, and loading scripts and media from the package the author uploads on the Workshop. Lua scripts are run in a sandboxed environment so that the games can’t execute any malicious code. Because the game doesn’t actually contain an executable, there is no way for this to carry a virus to the player’s computer."

He added: "The games will only appear in the Workshop, for now. If this idea takes off, then I will certainly be interested in other ways we can present this."

Update 1: One of our commenters has pointed out that GameMaker: Studio already lets developers publish their games onto the Workshop direct.

Original story: Valve’s Steam Greenlight initiative could be coming to an end as a new engine claims developers can skip the approval process and publish a game straight to the store.

The Leadwerks game engine has been integrated into Steam Workshop, enabling developers to share user-generated assets, much like the Unity Asset Store.

However, it was also claimed games using the engine can be published to Steam via the Workshop too, circumventing the Greenlight process entirely.

The statement read: “Game content isn’t the only thing that can be distributed through the Leadwerks Workshop. Games themselves can be published to Steam via the Workshop, with no waiting period and no approval process. This allows developers to get their game in front of an audience and build a following, without going through the Greenlight process.”

It is not clear how this works however, given Valve has long had some form of control over what content is available on its store. If there is now no approval process, it could raise new quality and legal issues on the Steam store, with developers essentially able to upload whatever they like.

We have reached out to Valve and Leadwerks for clarification on the matter.

Steam Greenlight was launched in 2012 as Valve looked to hand over much of the approval process to users following large bottlenecks in the number of submissions to the store.

However, a number of developers and Valve itself have since claimed the community-voting scheme will be abolished and replaced by a user-curated platform.

This year has already seen a large number of games hit the Steam store, with some suggesting the indie bubble may have burst on PC as a result.

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