Valve business development director, Jason Holtman, has said the idea for the firm’s Greenlight was inspired by Team Fortress 2, its “hat manufacturing game… that’s awesome.”
Speaking during a session at Develop and attended by PC Gamer, Holtman said the system surrounding the hat economy, was a success is due to the freedom for Valve employees to create all kinds of content projects they’re working on which ultimately spawned Greenlight and owes a lot to the TF2 blog.
“If the content team hadn’t been involved in this activity , including things such as blogposts, it would have sucked,” he said. “We had customer involvement too. Hey: why don’t you make propaganda posters. That would be fun. People went crazy. They created all this content that started to get consumed as part of the war update.
“It was the first inkling of what we’re thinking about now [with Greenlight]. Getting customers involved in the business.”
Holtman said the popularity and response to the Mann-conomy update and the launch of Steam Workshop overwhelmed Valve, and the “amount of stuff we had coming in looked like the final scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark,” he said.
“We hardly make anything anymore. Not that we’re lazy, There are people who are far better at working out what the engineer should have, what the Demoman should have,” he said.
Valve said Greenlight also addresses a problem with Steam, as there were more indie developers applying than the team could keep up with.
“We had a problem of how do we filter the large number of new indie games out there and put the best ones on Steam,” Holtman said. “We also didn’t have the ability to encourage people during development.
“[Plus] it provides fans and creates fandom. People will want to do this.”
Greenlight is expected to launch in August.