February 11, 2017 1RBC Gaming Weekly – The End of Greenlight, E3 for All, Humble Goes in Publishing

This week in gaming, Steam announced that Greenlight is being replaced this spring, E3 is open to non-industry people, Humble is slated to publish seven games and they’re looking for more, and a new game from the creators of FTL has been unveiled. Plus, we’ve got news on Destiny 2 and some exciting upcoming games- all this and more on this week’s episode of 1RBC Gaming Weekly.
We’ve done something a little different this week- our post for the week’s episode is significantly more detailed than usual- do you prefer it this way? Let us know in the comments.

First, regarding that big item- the death of Steam Greenlight- it seems that Valve has finally decided to take action and replace the failing, bloated platform with something else- that “something else” being a new service called Steam Direct, which we’re still waiting for full details on. According to Valve, they’re now planning on having developers pay a “recoupable application fee” that could be anywhere from $100 to $5,000- they’re still working that out internally, and they plan to have Steam Direct replace Greenlight sometime this spring.
Frankly, I like the idea of replacing Greenlight because the service seems to have run its course. As a user, I don’t feel much incentive to browse through it and wade past shovelware and student game projects. I mean those students no disrespect, but I feel like there’s a marked difference between a few Unity assets tossed together like a hasty salad and a carefully thought-out game of any sort, be it an RPG with a story that branches in a thousand directions or a platformer with clever mechanics and tight controls.

That said, I really don’t want Steam to charge developers anything near $5,000 to get on Greenlight, because that’s not going to stop shovelware pushers- it might, however, discourage developers who make good, free games from putting their work on Steam. Case in point? Totemori, which was released this week on Steam– I haven’t yet played it, but I’ve been hearing that it’s a fantastic free game with no freemium strings attached. Modern independent game publishers have enough hoops to jump through- between the stresses of marketing, Kickstarter and Greenlight, tacking on another box to tick when making a game only serves to complicate the process. Whatever Steam does, I hope it streamlines things and improves the quality of games coming into Steam while keeping the door open for the smaller indies out there. What do you think about the news of Steam Direct? Sound off in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter- we’ll share your thoughts on next week’s episode.

Regarding E3, some of the week’s most exciting news has been that the previously industry-only trade show is now open to the public. I wrote my thoughts on the matter here, but the short of it is that this was the smart move for the ESA to make in order to help keep their show relevant. In the longer term, they could definitely stand to market E3 as a hybrid show- a place where a few everybody folk get to rub shoulders with the industry giants and developers- for the time being, however, this may have been the shot in the arm the event has been in need of.

You may have some familiarity with Humble- at some point or another, you’ve probably purchased a Humble Bundle (if you’re new to PC gaming, it’s a great way to get some great deals on great games). This week, Humble announced their multi-platform publishing initiative– they currently have plans to publish seven games this year, namely HackyZackScornStaxelNo Truce with the FuriesIkenfellA Hat in Time and Keyboard Sports. Further, they’re on the lookout for more games to publish; if you’re an indie dev attending PAX East or GDC 2017, you can apply to show them your game with this form here.

A crowdfunding project that caught our attention this week is for a product called the Gameband, a smartwatch being marketed towards gamers. The trouble is, there’s not much about the watch feature-wise that seems very video game oriented. Sure, they’re offering Atari and Terraria branded watches with a few minigames, but otherwise? They seem like nicely designed but otherwise mundane Android devices. That said, their Kickstarter has already surpassed its goal, and understandably so- there’s a market for gaming related gear that looks nice– there’s nothing garish or tacky about the designs of the watches, so if you’re looking for a smartwatch that’s subtly respectably Atari, check out the Gameband.

Finally, this week Subset Games announced their next game, Into the Breach, a turn-based strategy RPG involving mecha, giant aliens and time travel. As a huge fan of their last game, FTL: Faster than Light, I’m pretty excited to see how this new title turns out. What do you think about this week’s game news? Sound off below or hit us up and follow @1RuleBeCool for all the greatest game news and editorials; follow me for my own views.

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