Valve said earlier this year that the curtain was coming down on Steam Greenlight, and that a new service called Steam Direct, which will enable developers to put their games on the platform directly for $100, will take its place. Today, that transition began in earnest, as Valve has announced that Greenlight is now closed, and that Direct is set to go live on June 13.
"Right from the early days and throughout the life of Greenlight, we have been continually surprised by the hits coming through. In just the first year we saw titles such as War For The Overworld, Evoland, Rogue Legacy, and Verdun move through Greenlight and go on to become hugely successful," Valve wrote. "Those early years also saw huge growth in some categories of games that we had previously considered extremely niche, like visual novels. Whether you love or hate visual novels (In which case you can customize your preferences here!), they have gone on to form a huge following on Steam."
Since Greenlight launched in 2012, nearly ten million players have cast more than 90 million votes for Greenlight submissions, and more than 63 million players have played a Greenlight game, logging 3.5 billion hours in them. "With these kinds of successes, the thousands of niche titles, and everything in between, we realized that a direct and predictable submission process will best serve the diverse interests of players moving forward," Valve wrote.
The closure of Greenlight means that as of today, voting is disabled and submissions for new games will no longer be accepted. Those games still in the system—more than 3400 of them—will be reviewed to determine which ones get the pass and which are rejected. Those that don't make the cut can still be put on the platform via the new Steam Direct service, "provided they meet our basic criteria of legality and appropriateness," and developers of rejected games can appeal to Steam support for a refund of their Greenlight submission fee.
Valve also revealed that along with the $100 Steam Direct fee, there will be a 30-day delay for new developers before they can actually release their first game on Steam. "This gives us time to review the developer's information and confirm that we know who we're doing business with," it explained. "Developers will also need to put up a 'coming soon' page for a couple of weeks prior to release, which helps get more eyes on upcoming releases and gives players a chance to point out discrepancies that our team may not be able to catch."
The Steam Greenlight page now leads to a notice that the service is being "retired," with a counter indicating how many games you've voted on. I threw my thumb up on 43 games in total—my very last vote going just this morning to the Cthulhu sex game Lust for Darkness. What a way to finish.