Gabe Newell has spoken about the initial failings of Steam Greenlight and what Valve can do to improve its system. The industry icon chatted with a bunch of visitors from 4chan’s /v/ in an oddly casual style.
Conversation soon turned to Kickstarter, as shown in this lengthy recording.
“So the Kickstarter thing is great,” he said. “Gamers are funding the money anyhow. If you think of what a publisher’s doing, all they’re doing is holding onto gamers’ money for a little while and attaching a bunch of strings.”
“You guys should take a seat at a publisher’s meeting. It’s pretty grim. So that’s something I think the whole games industry will benefit from – gamers having more control over where money is going in terms of funding projects. There’ll still be a bunch of projects that fail, but at least they’ll be more interesting failures. You won’t just get the same damn game over and over.
Newell also discussed the troubles Valve has experienced with Greenlight. It seems there is still plenty left for the company to work on.
“I don’t think we did a super good job. We have a bunch of work to do.”
“First of all, there’s way too much between a game developer and getting something on Steam. It’s really because we’ve been kind of stupid about the amount of work we have to do – just to process everything applying on Steam is 20 or 30 peoples’ work. We need to make that process much more efficient.
“So Greenlight was more about, ‘Why don’t you guys choose which one we should turn the crank on’, rather than, ‘Let’s just focus on making turning the crank easy, so that anybody can put it up’. Greenlight is better than nothing but still not where we really want to get to.”
Interesting words. Hopefully Valve will act upon its mistakes quickly, as Greenlight has the potential to become an important outlet in the world of indie development.