Everyone loves a free game, especially if the free game requires little to no effort from you in exchange, that’s why some developers have decided to offer out game keys in exchange for a “yes” vote on Steam Greenlight, something that Steam’s owner, Valve, isn’t too pleased about..
A games success on Steam Greenlight should be something to celebrate as the Steam community has chosen “yes” when asked whether they’d like to see the game on Steam. It shouldn’t be something that’s influenced by freebies or other forms of bribery. That’s probably the most frustrating part about this news, because those who have gained success on Steam Greenlight have done so because people actually wanted to play their game.
Because of this however, Valve have revealed that its put them “in a really uncomfortable position.”
“We do not think these votes accurate reflect customer interest,” Valve said in a message sent yesterday, “and it makes our job harder in deciding which games customers would actually buy and play on Steam.”
They’re worried that these few developers trading keys for votes, will start an uncomfortable trend and essentially void what Steam Greenlight is actually about.. People showing interest in games not yet on Steam.
“Additionally, when you give away copies of your game for votes, then every other developer on Greenlight thinks that is now the thing they need to do in order to get noticed,” Valve said. “We don’t think that is healthy for the system or really what customers want.”
It seems however that Valve aren’t prepared to stop this form of promotion in any way, for example, taking a game down from Steam Greenlight, but instead they’ve revealed that the process of deciding which games will be green lit could take a lot longer, “as it is much more work for us to try and understand customer interest in a title that has collected some unknown number of votes in this manner.”
Fortunately Valve are happy for developers to give-away keys as part of competitions and other valid marketing schemes, but this form of promotion seems to be a no no.