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Old 03-13-2012, 04:22 AM   #1
Hostile_Rabbit
 
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Is the Steam submission process for games fair?

Is the Steam submission process for games fair?

Right now Steam is currently the biggest PC DD store It has a lot of power and control over what games can come onto the platform. Most games do get through but some don't.

One example is a pinball game, which the developer said was rejected from steam as they said "lack of interest from pc gamers" which I find untrue. Since when does Steam/Valve dictate games good enough for submission? how are these games reviewed? is it by one person who may have a strength for one game type or a panel?

it seems like anyone who has a game on steam already can have any other game they made onto the platform with ease, however the entry barrier is really quite hard to define as there are no ground rules which steam has defined, also checking emails back from steam from developers shows that they are quite vague on why the game was not added to steam.

what are your thoughts? should Steam have greater transparancy on why a game was not added to steam?
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:31 AM   #2
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I would assume Valve collects a lot of data regarding what people and aren't interested in. If only 100 People buy a game it's not really worth having on the service. Valve is a company wanting to make money and if they feel the game wont do well that's just how the cookie crumbles. As for being transparent, no, because then developers would try to change their game to conform to a standard that's not really there.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:32 AM   #3
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Well some transparency would be nice I don't see it as required. It's Valve's store they are allowed to choose what goes on it.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:33 AM   #4
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The question is wether there are really games that are "not worth" it considering their kind, not the rubbish ones. It's not like one of the positive factors of digital distribution is how small the costs are...
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:37 AM   #5
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I also believe one indie developer said it's very easy to get your game on Steam and Valve will accept nearly anything. So there must be something very wrong with the game as to why it was rejected.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlPower23 View Post
I would assume Valve collects a lot of data regarding what people and aren't interested in. If only 100 People buy a game it's not really worth having on the service. Valve is a company wanting to make money and if they feel the game wont do well that's just how the cookie crumbles. As for being transparent, no, because then developers would try to change their game to conform to a standard that's not really there.
How can Valve get data on games that have not come out? new genre's are always coming out, MOBA/DOTA style games only came in the last decade or so and are a big hit. Also 100 games sales? you realise it's a virtual store with virtual stock? it's not like it's costing them to store, just to host it which is quite minimal to do so considering there infrastructural.

Again: This thread is about How the Steam submission Process works and if it needs more transparency.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:40 AM   #7
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If Valve were to state their reasons for non-inclusion they would be accused of interfering in the development process of other developer's games. I don't think any of us want Valve to have a say in the creative decisions of other people's games (no insult to Valve, their own games are great).
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlPower23 View Post
I also believe one indie developer said it's very easy to get your game on Steam and Valve will accept nearly anything. So there must be something very wrong with the game as to why it was rejected.
a lot of other developers get rejected for games that work perfectly fine and have a large userbase.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarchisteve View Post
If Valve were to state their reasons for non-inclusion they would be accused of interfering in the development process of other developer's games. I don't think any of us want Valve to have a say in the creative decisions of other people's games (no insult to Valve, their own games are great).
What there currently doing is declining games on the biggest pc platform on pc. Steam has a lot of sway and needs to answer why a game was not added other than "not target audience"

if we keep going with this "target audience" nonsense all our games would just end up being the same, Steam is setting over-protective guidelines on what games can be sold and what cannot.

If they gave proper reasoning, it would help the developer and the games who anticipate buying the game or not on steam.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hostile_Rabbit View Post
a lot of other developers get rejected for games that work perfectly fine and have a large userbase.
Such as.. Care to provide a link to these plethora of games?



Quote:
If they gave proper reasoning, it would help the develop and the games who anticipate buying the game or not on steam.
It's not right to tell the developers what they need to do to get their game on Steam. You are also being over dramatic here, declining a few indie games is not going to turn PC Gaming into a bland boring gaming machine.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlPower23 View Post
I also believe one indie developer said it's very easy to get your game on Steam and Valve will accept nearly anything. So there must be something very wrong with the game as to why it was rejected.
This is probably true. Considering that 'very wrong' would be have to be even worse than nigh-on broken titles like Painkiller Re______ (all 3 of them) and Burn Zombie Burn.

Or maybe people would like the XBLA certification process better, which famously delayed Dungeon Defenders by a whole year. Outside of that, it's still around 2-3 months from what I gather. Not to mention there's the $40k fees to release a patch and the absolute requirement you must monetize DLC; they don't let you give it for free which basically killed console-TF2.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlPower23 View Post
Such as.. Care to provide a link to these plethora of games?

It's not right to tell the developers what they need to do to get their game on Steam. You are also being over dramatic here, declining a few indie games is not going to turn PC Gaming into a bland boring gaming machine.
http://www.crypticcomet.com/blog/?p=752

^there are more, there is no listing of all these developers, but if you insist I could add more if you want me to google everything.

it's not right to tell developers why there games cannot go on steam besides "wrong target audience" or "not in our interest for steam"

there are a lot of questions to be asked:

- who reviews the games?
- is it a independent panel?
- how much of Steam's data is used to influence a factor on a games's submission?
- how can sale data which spikes due to sales effect a niche game genre?
- Can steam data show a game that can buckle trends and become a breakout?
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hostile_Rabbit View Post
http://www.crypticcomet.com/blog/?p=752

^there are more, there is no listing of all these developers, but if you insist I could add more if you want me to google everything.

it's not right to tell developers why there games cannot go on steam besides "wrong target audience" or "not in our interest for steam"
There is actually a list on SPUF of a lot of games that were rejected. Let me tell you the list is incredibly small. Maybe 10-20 games at most. Maybe there are more however, the number is insignificant. Also let me point out there are games that have been rejected and then accepted on Steam on multiple occasions.


Quote:
there are a lot of questions to be asked:

- who reviews the games?
- is it a independent panel?
- how much of Steam's data is used to influence a factor on a games's submission?
- how can sale data which spikes due to sales effect a niche game genre?
- Can steam data show a game that can buckle trends and become a breakout?
Yes, because companies give out this kind of information to the public. Let's just demand everything from Valve as well. Like their sales figures and so forth. A lot of their decisions are based on >Market< Research and they also did answer some of these questions. You just need to do a little searching for the right interview.

Quote:
The internal struggle there then, surely, is that if you want to maintain the value of the Steam collection, you’ll need to be more selective with what games you’ll put on there. You’ll have to be harder on submissions, because you don’t want to flood your own market.

JH: I don’t think we’re going to be harder on submissions. We’ve always been open to take a look at anyone’s game. We always love being surprised by the amazing things we find.
Mind you, sometimes we make mistakes with our submissions process. We’re not perfect. Usually we’ll have a group of about eight to ten people looking at all the different submissions we get.
Sometimes we’ll think the game doesn’t fit, and a month later we’ll get a mail from a disgruntled developer saying ‘this is what you said, and this is how many thousands and thousands of copies of my game I have sold since you said that’.
We’re always looking for the same thing. Is it fun? Is it done? Does it represent value? I don’t think that we’re going to change those rules – we’re not going to be harder in our submission process.
Quote:
The feedback I’ve got from the studios I’ve talked to is that they say the whole Steam submission process is just so much more straightforward because they’re dealing with developers on the other end of the line – not publishing empires.

JH: It’s important to us that developers feel that way in the future too. We want to offer an engine that is incredibly low-friction, we need Steamworks to be something that’s very attractive to use.
Once we introduce anything that’s hard for developers to deal with, Steam’s ability to succeed would fall way, way down.
If you give someone a poorly worked-out contract, or a heavily-worded phone call, that will lead you to a path where you’re not going to succeed as well.
This work we do with Steam needs to come from the sensibility not of, ‘gosh we need a digital distribution platform’, but from a core development aspect of ‘we want to make cool things for gamers’.

Last edited by GirlPower23: 03-13-2012 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:06 AM   #13
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I don't see why Steam has to be fair or transparent. It's a privately owned business, not a democracy.

They can do business with whoever they like for whatever reason they like. Or not.

Last edited by Picchia: 03-13-2012 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by GirlPower23 View Post
There is actually a list on SPUF of a lot of games that were rejected. Let me tell you the list is incredibly small. Maybe 10-20 games at most. Maybe there are more however, the number is insignificant.




Yes, because companies give out this kind of information to the public. Let's just demand everything from Valve as well. Like their sales figures and so forth. A lot of their decisions are based on >Market< Research and they also did answer some of these questions. You just need to do a little searching for the right interview.
I never demand sale data, I wanted to know how games are reviewed and if should be more open. It's also to bad it's insanely hard to search for SPUF threads as they dissapear after a wgile if mods can't preserve them

Quote:
We’re always looking for the same thing. Is it fun? Is it done? Does it represent value? I don’t think that we’re going to change those rules – we’re not going to be harder in our submission process.
as that shows it's down to valve's opinion and not clarify on these points shows that game could get rejected for not being "fun"

Last edited by Hostile_Rabbit: 03-13-2012 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hostile_Rabbit View Post
as that shows it's down to valve's opinion and not clarify on these points shows that game could get rejected for not being "fun"
Exactly, if the testers do not find it fun. So be it. As they said they can make mistakes, however, thus us life. Which is ALSO WHY they can't tell a developer what's wrong with the game. Then the developer would change the game to fit this "Mold" that's not really there. I would rather have a bunch of "Gamers" deciding if a game is worth it or not than them throwing up junk on Steam.
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