Valve Announces Steam Direct Self-Publishing Fee – Lower Than Expected

Steam Direct

After Valve announced the replacement for Steam Greenlight earlier this year, many did not take the news so well. This was because instead of the one-time $100 fee that developers would pay to get their games on the platform, the new program would introduce a fee-per-title system, and it wasn’t looking good for indie developers with near-empty wallets. While the reaction was divided, Steam Direct seemed like a step in the right direction, and one away from the pay-to-play popularity contest that is Greenlight. However, Valve has just announced the fee that comes along with the new system, and it’s not as bad as many were expecting: $100.

When Steam Direct was announced, the range that the fee could possibly land in was $100-$5,000. Naturally, people weren’t pleased with the higher end of that spectrum, but it should provide some relief that Valve has opted to go low. Instead of having to go into some crazy amount of debt to bring dreams to fruition, developers will only have to pay a $100 fee for each game they want published on Steam Direct. Here’s a little more on how they came up with this price point:

…we’ve seen a bunch of great conversations discussing the various pros and cons of whether there should be an amount, what that amount should be, ways that recouping could work, which developers would be helped or hurt, predictions for how the store would be affected, and many other facets to the decision. There were rational & convincing arguments made for both ends of the $100-$5000 spectrum we mentioned. Our internal thinking beforehand had us hovering around the $500 mark, but the community conversation really challenged us to justify why the fee wasn’t as low as possible, and to think about what we could do to make a low fee work.

So in the end, we’ve decided we’re going to aim for the lowest barrier to developers as possible, with a $100 recoupable publishing fee per game, while at the same time work on features designed to help the Store algorithm become better at helping you sift through games.”

The pricing for Valve’s Steam Direct is an attempt to ensure developers won’t take advantage of the system by overloading it with games that likely shouldn’t be there. However, some have already expressed their concern that the fee might be too low. Even though it will no longer be a one-time payment, $100-per-game can still be seen as totally manageable for devs that are looking to make a quick buck by scamming the system. Valve aims to introduce human eyes wherever possible to combat this, but only time will tell if it proves useful or good enough. No launch date has been announced yet, but stay tuned to Don’t Feed the Gamers to ensure you’re kept in the loop as to when it will go live.

What say you, gamers and developers? Does $100-per-game seem doable, or is it a little too steep? Will some devs still be able to take advantage of it due to it possibly being too low? Drop those thoughts in the comments section below, and be sure to follow DFTG on Twitter for live gaming and entertainment news 24/7. If it’s more reading that you’re needing, check out the following:

Eric Garrett2269 Posts

Eric is an editor and writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. When he is not staring at a computer screen filled with text, he is usually staring at a computer screen filled with controllable animations. Today's youth call this gaming. He also likes to shoot things. With a camera, of course.


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