Game publishing seems to be getting a lot more democratic lately. This year, several titles have made headlines for receiving generous funding directly from fans thanks to Kickstarter: Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2, and Shadowrun Returns. Now, Valve Software is preparing a new service called Steam Greenlight, which will let gamers choose which titles get distributed on Steam.
According to Valve, developers will be able to submit games for consideration "as early in the development process as they like;" they'll only need to provide a description of the game, one video, four screenshots, "tentative system requirements," and box art. Valve says it will encourage developers to keep their Steam Greenlight pages up to date so that fans remain "involved in [the] development process," as well.
How will titles get selected for distribution? Voting will be involved, of course, though Valve is less clear on that topic. The firm notes that it doesn't yet know what the threshold for acceptance will be, and it adds, "We are most interested in finding the games that people want, not requiring them to always hit a specific number of votes." Hmm.
Valve expects to launch Steam Greenlight in late August. Considering the firm's propensity for missing release targets, that might mean some time in September. Whether the service launches on schedule or not, though, it's definitely encouraging to see indie game developers gain an extra tool in their arsenal. I'll certainly be checking Steam Greenlight for interesting projects when it debuts.