Those hoping to get their games voted into a distribution deal on Steam via the recently-launched Steam Greenlight initiative were dismayed to find themselves competing with joke entries such as Half-Life 3 and Minecraft, but Valve has a solution: an entry fee.
Responding to criticism coming from all sides (including our own Mike Rose) that finding legitimate games to vote on was nearly impossible, Valve said today that it will now charge a $100 fee for anyone posting a game on the site, which is $100 more than was being charged previously.
The $100 will be donated to the Child's Play charity, as Valve says that it has "no interest in making money from this, but we do need to cut down the noise in the system."
The company is also addressing discoverability complaints by saying that users will now see "a smaller, manageable list " of "popular games and new games to Greenlight."
Greenlight, an initiative that hopes to suss out which games are worthy of being distributed on the popular Steam service by putting them to a public vote, has been plagued by discoverability problems from day one. The website as it is features no ranking methods at all for users: there was no way to sort by popularity, ratings, or any other factors that might help one find games they want to play.
Hopefully these changes will manage to weed out the noise while still making the smaller games discoverable. We'll be keeping a close eye on the service to find out.