Steam staff struggle to cope with the enormous number of submissions for publication they receive, and Steam Greenlight, a process which allows users to preview and vote on possible releases, was one solution to this issue. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be working; speaking at DICE Summit 2013, Valve founder Gabe Newell expressed his doubts about the service.
“Right now we have inside of Steam we have a dictatorship. It’s probably bad for the Steam community, in the long run, not to move to a different way of thinking about that. In other words, we should stop being a dictator and move towards much more participatory, peer-based methods of sanctioning player behavior,” he said, according to Gamasutra.
“Greenlight is a bad example of an election process. We came to the conclusion pretty quickly that we could just do away with Greenlight completely, because it was a bottleneck rather than a way for people to communicate choice.”
Newell’s proposed solution seems to be user-curated stores, something he began championing at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in January.
“I don’t know about you, but I think the store is really boring. It’s like this super middle-ground marketing thing. Like, oh, here’s a list of features in our game,” he said. “The stores instead should become user-generated content. Other companies can take advantage of this as well, but if a user can create his own store – essentially add an editorial perspective and content on top of the purchase process – then we’ve created a mechanism where everybody, in the same way we’ve seen a huge upsurge of user-generated content with hats, we think that there’s a lot of aggregate value that can be created by allowing people to create stores.
“I’d buy stuff from Yahtzee. I would buy everything from Old Man Murray.”