September 5, 2012 1:00 AM | John Polson
Developers have recently taken to Twitter to offer $100 as either a loan or donation for those who need help with Valve's newly-instated Steam Greenlight listing fee. The money paid to Valve shall go to the Child's Play charity, but Valve felt it needed to do this "to cut down the noise in the system," which received over 750 entries in one week. The fee is not retroactive; anyone who has already posted a submission to Greenlight won't have to pay.
One of those leading the charge to help pay this fee is Ichiro Lambe from Dejobaan Games. He has provided these instructions as a brief application for developers who need the temporary loan. He's using the same post to call on other established indie developers to offer $100, too. Indie publisher Nicalis is offering a similar opportunity for three developers in need.
Several indies, Penny Arcade Report's Ben Kuchera and Engine Director Mike Acton of bigger independent studio Insomniac have already agreed to give $100, provided developers follow Dejobaan's outline.
When asked if Valve's $100 fee is nominal compared to console fees, Acton replied, "'Insignificant' is probably better than 'nominal'. I understand their practical choice. Logistics cost." Developers have to spend a similar amount ($99) for XBLIG, Windows Phone 7, or iOS development. However, as long as developers meet those platform guidelines, their games will get published.
Some developers don't wish for the sudden charity to be the panacea for Valve's recent decision. I Wanna Be The Guy developer Michael O'Reilly shared, "While charity is great, I think the fact that Greenlight money is donated is a sign that the system is broken. If you're not using money to cover costs or make profit, why are you using it as a limiting mechanic?" Nathan Fouts of Mommy's Best Games says, "I feel like it could be a little less money to cut down the joke side of things."
Valve unrolled Greenlight last week as an alternative to their current, internal selection process for Steam. The company has not announced any plans to stop its own selection process.