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Steam Greenlight pulls in 2 million voters, has a chat with its indies


Getting accepted through Steam's community-voting service, Greenlight, is an ongoing, complex project for many indie developers – and for Steam itself. Valve hosted a chat with Greenlight developers this week to discuss concerns, suggestions and propose what Greenlight may look like in the future.

Valve is "actively looking into" releasing the Steamworks API so developers can prepare their games prior to being Greenlit, though it has no timeframe to make that public. Currently all games go to the same Greenlight, but Valve said it would discuss the idea of separating the service by "games that are ready to go" and "games that are in development."

On May 1, Valve Greenlit a mini batch of games, and this system will most likely be the new standard, the team said: "Unfortunately, we have limited resources at the moment, so we cannot ship every game that we want. We're working toward having an open platform that Gabe has talked about, but we're not there yet."

Valve said it would like to Greenlight more games, but "as a result of hard technical limits" in how its tools are established, it can't. "We're really trying to do this, and we're actively working on it, but it hard and is a lot of work," Valve said.

Roughly 2 million people have voted for games on Steam Greenlight since its launch in August, and after an initial spike in traffic, numbers have remained "pretty steady," Valve said.

A few developers noted that their games aren't getting as many pageviews as they expected from Steam's userbase of more than 40 million – one developer said projects tend to stop at 15,000 views. Valve responded, "We cannot force people to vote if they don't want to." To some developers, the Greenlight chat itself could probably use an updated interface, as well.

"It was a good idea to gather for such a meeting and it's definitely a step in the right direction, but the execution was really bad," Crunching Koalas coder Tom Tomaszewski wrote, following a great wrap-up of the entire discussion. "No hard feelings for guys at Valve, but the first official Valve Greenlight Chat was a complete waste of time."

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