Gabe Newell's vision for Steam: More choice, more democracy, less Greenlight

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  02 February 2013
Gabe Newell's vision for Steam: More choice, more democracy, less Greenlight

Quote:
"Valve's Gabe Newell is an interesting man in an interesting position.

His company's Steam platform has changed the way people consume games on their computers, in many ways democratizing which games consumers choose to play by opening the doors to weirder and more experimental independent developers. And now he's targeting the living room, with Steam's Big Picture Mode and with simple "Steam Box" units that will plug into televisions coming in the very near future.

But one big hurdle is Steam's approval process: as Newell himself admits, Steam is a "dictatorship," and that has to change.

At a
candid talk at the University of Texas recently, Newell outlined his vision of where Steam is going: doing away with the approval process, converting Steam into a network API that any developer can call, transferring ownership of its "boring" storefront to its users and, surprisingly, killing off the "Greenlight" crowd-voted approval process introduced just months ago.

We've highlighted some choice quotes below"


http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/..._Greenlight.php
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  02 February 2013
It will be interesting to see what becomes of Steam if these changes are put through. I think integrating existing information outlets is definitely one way to go, ie, bringing in currently existing user generated content from Wikipedia, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Give us critic and user reviews front and center. Steam's game hub is a great resource, but it could definitely be better.
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  02 February 2013
I worry about the signal to noise ratio if they open up Steam and remove the checks and balances.

We saw the same thing happen when Leigh opened up the gallery submissions. Steam would essentially become a dumping ground for every unity zombie game test that people can throw at it.

If you want to be seen as a quality service, you cannot get rid of quality control.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Pyke: I worry about the signal to noise ratio if they open up Steam and remove the checks and balances.

We saw the same thing happen when Leigh opened up the gallery submissions. Steam would essentially become a dumping ground for every unity zombie game test that people can throw at it.

If you want to be seen as a quality service, you cannot get rid of quality control.


I don't know if I agree with your sentiments. I mean, on one hand, quality is quality, I understand that, but on the other hand, think about how many indie devs will be able to make a name for themselves on Steam this way.

I'd say follow in Apples footsteps, via charging $100 a year for publishing privileges. After that, let the userbase dictate what is or isn't quality.

For instance, if Company XYZ releases a clone or something inappropriate to the store, enough people could report them, and if say, 100 reports are made (or something), Steam can step in and look at the situation. Similar to how League of Legends handles their spammers and unfair players.

The yearly charge alone will discourage a lot of silliness right off, and then the userbase can take care of the rest.
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Geta-Ve: I don't know if I agree with your sentiments. I mean, on one hand, quality is quality, I understand that, but on the other hand, think about how many indie devs will be able to make a name for themselves on Steam this way.

I don't think a game that doesn't even make it though QC will be able to make a name... it will only serve to clog up the system.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Pyke: I worry about the signal to noise ratio if they open up Steam and remove the checks and balances.

We saw the same thing happen when Leigh opened up the gallery submissions. Steam would essentially become a dumping ground for every unity zombie game test that people can throw at it.

If you want to be seen as a quality service, you cannot get rid of quality control.


I've heard him talking about custom shops. The example Gabe specifically used was, let's say Yahtzee (of Zero Punctuation) opened a custom shop front-end on Steam. He would promote the games and decide which games get on there, based on his audience and his preferences. So in a sense, Steam would have all kind of garbage but it would essentially sort it self out because on the main shop Valve would still hold precedence but the fringe shops that a specific audience venture out to? Free for all. The big sellers on a fringe shop could then be integrated into the main library on the main store.

So think Amazon affiliate program more than a huge clusterfuck of copy cats and cheap knockoffs.

You essentially give a few people the power to greenlight games also. Yahtzee don't want to lose the income from his store by uploading crappy games and lose his privelage / ranking.
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Panupat: I don't think a game that doesn't even make it though QC will be able to make a name... it will only serve to clog up the system.


I didn't know Steam did any kind of QC?

And even so, how will it clog anything up? You don't want the game, don't buy it. That simple. It's worked for the App Store really well so far.
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Geta-Ve: I didn't know Steam did any kind of QC?


Some guys I know who submitted to the Steam Workshop have been wondering how exactly Steam handles QC. They both have 5 star user ratings but have permanent "pending" statuses for their items. Its difficult to tell what exactly is going on and to me that is Steam's biggest issue; there's a great deal of obscurity about how things actually work.

For Steam itself, I'd hope there is a fairly thorough QC. I mean, otherwise you could create a L4D clone at a $3 and you have yourself a 10 000 node botnet that also paid you to join
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by ArcticWolf: Some guys I know who submitted to the Steam Workshop have been wondering how exactly Steam handles QC. They both have 5 star user ratings but have permanent "pending" statuses for their items. Its difficult to tell what exactly is going on and to me that is Steam's biggest issue; there's a great deal of obscurity about how things actually work.

For Steam itself, I'd hope there is a fairly thorough QC. I mean, otherwise you could create a L4D clone at a $3 and you have yourself a 10 000 node botnet that also paid you to join


For this and other reasons, Gabe Newell's desription is probably not going to be the final version of Steam's plans for "Democratization".
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by ArcticWolf: Some guys I know who submitted to the Steam Workshop have been wondering how exactly Steam handles QC. They both have 5 star user ratings but have permanent "pending" statuses for their items. Its difficult to tell what exactly is going on and to me that is Steam's biggest issue; there's a great deal of obscurity about how things actually work.

For Steam itself, I'd hope there is a fairly thorough QC. I mean, otherwise you could create a L4D clone at a $3 and you have yourself a 10 000 node botnet that also paid you to join


Fair enough!

Apple has pretty good QC, which extends to; is what you submit, what you've described? Yes? Okay go ahead. Generally whether or not your app is actually useful or worthwhile is not their problem, they let the rating system cull the herd.
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  02 February 2013
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