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Steam Greenlight, Valve’s system of letting players vote for the games they want to appear on the Steam service, is going to that big farm in the sky. Valve has been talking about nixing Greenlight for years, and now they’re finally doing it and replacing it with something called Steam Direct.

Developers will now fill out required paperwork and pay a certain “recoupable” as-of-yet undecided application fee for each title they want to be available on the system, but they will no longer need to gather votes to be approved. Valve believes this will “decrease the noise in the submission pipeline” and that the Steam algorithm will help the quality games rise to the top.

There are definitely pros and cons to this approach, the biggest con being that anyone with the money can now get their game onto Steam. That isn’t meant to be a jab at games I personally dislike, but rather a concern that we’ll get gimmicky nonsense designed to make quick money before the word can get out that it’s gimmicky nonsense. Valve’s vetting system is nothing more than making sure a game is a game, whatever that means.

Of course, the biggest con can also be a gigantic pro. Developers are no longer at the mercy of the voting system, which is far from perfect and can be used in a malicious and disingenuous manner. This assures that everyone gets a fair shot when Steam Direct rolls around sometime this spring.

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