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Mutant Mudds Dev Slams State Of Steam Greenlight

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Mutant Mudds, PC games, Renegade Kid, Steam, Steam Greenlight

Mutant Mudds Dev Slams State Of Steam Greenlight

Mutant Mudds developer Renegade Kid have expressed their discontent with Steam Greenlight, suggesting that a "popularity contest" relying on "unique publicity angles" might not be a perfect way of getting deserving games onto the platform.

Renegade Kid's Jools Whatsham took to Gamasutra to vent some frustrations; though Mutant Mudds passed through Nintendo's incredibly stringent certification procedure, Steam refuse to even consider it without passing it through Greenlight voting.

“When we submit a game to Nintendo they test the game to ensure it does not crash or have any major bugs that impede gameplay," Whatsham wrote. "If the game contains any issues in this regard Nintendo sends us a report that explains why the game was failed. We fix it and resubmit. Nintendo works with developers where needed to isolate issues and correct them."

“Valve is a successful company that is reportedly in good financial shape. With this in mind I assumed they would have a robust team in place that provided a similar submission service as Nintendo.”

Whatsham suggested that, despite initial excitement about Greenlight, many developers have found themselves overshadowed and eclipsed by less deserving games that ape popular genres or take advantage of carefully prepared PR campaigns (in some cases, even backed by major PR firms).

“It quickly seemed as though the games that were being received well on Greenlight were either first-person games, contained zombies, and/or were supported by a built-in PC community or a unique publicity angle. Mutant Mudds could not find its audience. Greenlight is, after all, a popularity contest,” Whatsham continued.

“Some seem put-out by calling it this. There is nothing wrong with it being a popularity contest. Isn’t that the point of asking a community of thousands to vote? It is what it is. But, now do I need to launch a dedicated PR campaign to get my game(s) noticed and accepted on Steam?”

It's an interesting question, and one that makes us wish that Steam's A&R department would take a more proactive role in getting indie games onto the service. That said, however, Greenlight is already getting results, and leading to several excellent games making the cut. More to the point, it's always nice to have your say and feel part of the process.

What's your take on Greenlight? Do you frequently use the service? Let us know in the comments.

Add a comment2 comments
Lemming  Apr. 22, 2013 at 13:08

So having your potential customers say if they would or wouldn't buy your game isn't a good selection process? I thought it was the base of all market research!

I'll agree that there are popular trends on greenlight but most of the stuff I've seen pass is good or has excellent potential. It's not that different to the kickstarter concept of people backing a concept rather than a game, that's most successful with good marketing and usually a sense of nostalgia about the concept.

Personall I've got quite a few greenlight games and want to get more of the approved ones. Waking Mars, Towns and Giana Sisters are all excellent games and there are many more in the mix. I'm also looking forward to the likes of Kingdom Rush and Secrets of Grindea, both of which I voted for during their greenlight phase and will be buying on release.

To me if something is failing to get greenlit then it obviously doesn't look good or appeal to the mass market.. or both! Alought War-Z proved both of those things don't always make a good game...

Quietus  Apr. 22, 2013 at 13:29

I actually like Greenlight. I've already voted on over 1,000 games, and every now and again I go back in and blitz through a few queues.

The only issue I see with the way that it works is actually getting your game into people's queues. A queue contains twelve games, but what parameters are choosing what makes it into that twelve? People can only vote on what they can see, and unless people are already aware of the game, and are being directly linked to the relevant Greenlight page, then it may well be difficult to get votes for a game if it's not hitting people's screens.

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