Steam Greenlight submission fee temporarily discounted for Steam Autumn sale

The $100 submission fee for Steam's Greenlight system was briefly slashed in half as part of the Steam Autumn sale. Indie Games noticed the sudden price drop, which was reversed hours later. Maybe someone pulled the wrong lever at Valve HQ, or the Steam team pressed "undo" in the face of consternation from indie devs like Probability 0 creator, Alexander Martin, who only recently tossed the full hundred bucks into Greenlight's charity bucket. "$100 was already a number they picked out of thin air" he told IG, "but it seems pointless to set up a gatekeeper if it's going to back off for no particular reason."

The Greenlight fee was originally introduced to discourage joke entries and the sort of weird offensive sludge that appears if you invite the entire internet to post pictures and descriptions on an open service. The donations all go to charity, but there was some controversy concerning the amount. There is probably a sweet spot somewhere between $10 and $100 that would deter pranksters without breaking the bank accounts of struggling indie devs, but without constantly changing the price and observing the results, it'd be tough to pinpoint. Perhaps the odd sale is a good way of testing the water. What do you reckon?

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.