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Valve Settles On $100 Publishing Fee for Steam Direct

Developers will be able to recoup the fee, which could have been as high as $5,000.


Back in February, Valve revealed that it would be phasing out its Greenlight program in favor of a new endeavor called Steam Direct. One of the key elements missing from the original announcement was just how much Valve would charge to put a game on Steam Direct. After much deliberation, they have settled on the rather low amount of $100.

Valve hadn't announced the price in the initial reveal because it had wanted feedback from users and developers in making its decision. Apparently, the fee could have been as high as $5,000. "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," Valve said in a post on the official Steam blog. "There were rational & convincing arguments made for both ends of the $100-$5,000 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."

The company chose $100 to make it as easy on developers as possible, allowing them to recoup the fee through some as-yet-undefined process. It said that engineers will continue to work on features that make the Steam algorithm better at sorting through games, while finding places that human interaction can assist in the process. Valve said it would continue to monitor submissions to see how the new system is working before implementing new features, such as trading cards.

"We believe that if we inject human thinking into the Store algorithm, while at the same time increasing the transparency of its output, we'll have created a public process that will incrementally drive the Store to better serve everyone using it," the company said.

Valve also revealed that it would be making changes to its Curator feature since "it hasn't received the attention it needs to be a good solution" to having humans involved in the game selection process. "Since they're an opt-in feature, we've decided to give Curators more visibility throughout the Store as a whole, so if you're following a Curator, you'll see their thoughts in new places, and with higher prominence."

Steam Direct still has some iterations to go before it is ready for prime time. Valve expects to issue one more update in the next few weeks about Steam Direct and the passing of Greenlight, likely giving a release date at that time as well.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 2, 2017 9:35 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Valve Settles On $100 Publishing Fee for Steam Direct

    • reply
      June 2, 2017 9:50 AM

      That's a good number. High enough that it'll keep a fair amount of the cash grabby bullshit out but not insurmountable for a single person in their parent's basement to come up with.

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        June 2, 2017 12:23 PM

        Agreed on all points.
        This is a great move on valve's part. Should help keep out shovelware.... at least some.

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      June 2, 2017 9:51 AM

      Good, keeps the shovelware out.

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      June 2, 2017 11:42 AM

      This is pretty big news. I've been working on a GDD for what I intended to be a mobile game, but if I could publish on Steam for that cheap I'd probably rather go that route.

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      June 2, 2017 12:30 PM

      Excellent news, I'm glad Valve decided to take the problem head on instead of punishing the small developers!

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      June 2, 2017 12:34 PM

      Honestly, I wish it were higher.

      $500 seems like a good sweet spot. Keep out the grade school hobby projects and trading card scammers... but also require a bit of backbone for developers to actually take a risk on their project.

      Unfortunately, then $100 price point has some momentum because of the Apple and Android stores...

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        June 2, 2017 12:38 PM

        I 100% agree with you I think I paid $125 to be a GreenLight dev, this is really low.

        Its actually really weird that its lower than GreenLight, huh. All well what can you do.

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        June 2, 2017 2:05 PM

        Trouble is that 500 is prohibitive in some countries for smaller teams. One price fits all is challenging.

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