Having some form of "expert voice" in Greenlight is a good idea, say Valve
Steam Greenlight will redefine how games end up on Valve's digital distribution platform. Greenlight will allow indie devs to foster a community and judge the popularity of their games, all from within Steam. For more, read Tom "Wonderbrain Behind Cerebral Yet Punchy Indie Gunpoint" Francis' piece on how Steam's role is about to change.
But even though Greenlight's voting system will be open to all Steam users, Valve’s director of business management, Jason Holtman, has told PC Gamer that “expert voices” might get highlighted later down the line.
“There’s a lot of thought into how we get groups of customers to tell us things and give feedback. That’s a problem being directly solved with Greenlight," said Jason, speaking to PC Gamer at Develop last week.
“Another way of maybe answering the question is: how do you involve experts in that situation?" says Holtman. "It’s a hard, interesting, challenge to figure out how experts enter into that. Media outlets are awfully good at gathering news and have journalists fulfilling a function they’re trained to do. They’re good creators of content.” Jason was probably thinking of PC Gamer when he said that.
“There are people you read because they’re experts about peach cobbler or something. That’s better than a thousand votes by people about peach cobbler. It remains to be seen how we incorporate that, but I think having some element of expert voice in there is a good idea because it's another set of data." Since this interview we've promoted Tom Senior to cobbler editor.
"It’s another thing that customers want and it’s another thing that the developers want too," confirmed Jason. "You ask the developer what they want to know about the game they're building and they're like: I’d love to get votes from customers and feedback from customers. I’d kind of like to know what PC Gamer thinks, I’d like to know what Best Buy buyers think, I'd like to know what the New York Times game critic thinks.
"If they could get all of those earlier they’d probably make better things."