It’s launched with around 40 games available to choose from, including familiar names like Incredipede, The Intruder and Project Giana. There’s a bunch of info about each game, along with screenshots and videos, with the option to vote for those you’re interested in playing.
This is Valve’s effort to have a community-driven system that gets the indies people think they’ll be interested in playing onto the store, with developers able to submit their games to the process. And this is possibly no bad thing, as we’ve heard very many stories of developers of well-respected games struggling to see their creations get past Valve’s… esoteric selection system.
Of course, there’s always the question, well, why shouldn’t all these games be on Steam? It does seem a slightly arbitrary system, with people voting for games they likely have never played, meaning completely unknown gems may got lost in the mix. Valve states,
“The community should be deciding what gets released. After all, it’s the community that will ultimately be the ones deciding which release they spend their money on.”
I’m not sure I entirely agree. I’m not sure the wisdom of crowds is necessarily going to be the best selection process for developers without a publisher to do the negotiating for them. But it will certainly make for interesting times, as smaller devs attempt to get communities to endorse them, and see their products getting through. I’m just not sure why they have to go through this, when mainstream games with publishers do not. Wouldn’t it make just as much sense to see EA and Activision’s games going head to head in the voting system if that’s the logic behind it? (That’s not the logic behind it, is it?)
Anyhow, hopefully this means that a lot of lesser known developers will now have a stronger chance of making it onto the store. I think, ultimately, I’d prefer to see a store where everything gets sold, without having to fight it out in an arena first.