My original intention for this article was going to be a “best of the bunch” summary to cover the seventy-five games recently Greenlit on Steam. However, as I sorted through the list I discovered that a good chunk of those games were pretty…unimpressive, to put it politely. Hardly any of the games jumped out at me as looking particularly fun, let alone something I’d spend money on. A few of the games are so debatably bad looking that it makes me think that Valve didn’t even look these games over before they gave them the greenlight.
For awhile now, Valve has been approving batches of seventy-five games, every two weeks. That’s 300 games in two months. That’s 300 games that will be released through Steam on top of the triple-A publisher-supported games that are lucky enough to bypass the Steam Greenlight toll booth.
Recent batches have yielded some really great games, and there are a few really great looking games sprinkled within this latest batch. But for the first time in Greenlight’s history, this time around I felt like the unimpressive outweighed the impressive.
Take, for example, Uncraft Me!, a platformer that features giant murals of scantily clad, generously-proportioned anime women, for no reason whatsoever. This is game literally goes against Valve’s own Greenlight policy, specifically, “…you agree not post any item to Greenlight that contains… porn, inappropriate or offensive content…”. There is no excuse for that one, Valve.
I like the concept of Steam Greenlight and Early Access, but the longer the systems exist, the more I see their flaws.
One reason that Steam really caught on was that users knew that the games offered within the Steam Store were the best the industry had to offer. With Greenlight and Early Access in place, there are more games being added to the Steam Store than ever before. Understandably, Valve has turned to Steam users themselves to dictate the sort of games they want to see on the platform, in an effort to spare Valve from having to inspect each game on their own.
That sounds like a good idea, but when you think about it, there have been some pretty embarrassing missteps along the way. Someone at Valve approved The War Z, someone at Valve approved Earth: Year 2066, and someone at Valve approved Uncraft Me!. This list is bound to grow unless things change.
The solution is simple: trim the fat. Valve has no reason to consistently approve 75 games every two weeks. I can’t imagine half of the games they approved in this latest bunch generating all that much revenue for them anyway. The games that are approved for Steam Greenlight should speak volumes for the quality of games that Valve sells on the platform. That, sadly, doesn’t seem to be the case as of late.