Be careful what you wish for, indie game developers! Sometimes even finding a company to publish your latest game on Steam may not fly with Valve, as the developers of Paranautical Activity have unfortunately learned this week.
The old-school, pixelated FPS by Code Avarice had been submitted to Steam’s Greenlight Program a few weeks ago, but after Adultswim Games began expressing interest to the game’s developers, support on the Paranautical Activity Greenlight page was quickly abandoned.
However, after Adultswim Games had a meeting with Valve to discuss the game’s appearance on the popular Steam client, everyone was in for a shock when Valve decided to reject the game entirely. The reason behind Valve’s rejection of the game is because they didn’t want to encourage indie developers to think that they could simply bypass the Greenlight community voting system by hooking up with a publisher. Adultswim Games recently published the fantastic Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe on Steam, but the difference here being the game was never submitted to the Greenlight program in the first place.
So the moral of the story is if you want to put your game on Steam’s Greenlight program, then you’d better be completely and positively sure that there won’t be any chance of you meeting up with a publisher in the future before the community has had their say; if Valve’s latest move is any indication of the future of Greenlight, then finding a publisher for your Greenlight game still won’t do you any good.
This isn’t the first time that Valve has come under fire for their Greenlight program, which aims to let small and unknown indie developers get their games on the popular distribution client. Shortly after the program’s launch last summer, dozens of “shovelware” games were removed from the system, and tighter restrictions were applied to keep the overall quality of contending games at an optimal high.
More information on the situation can be found on the Code Avarice blog.