Ever had those times when you didn’t have any games left to play? The gaming blues as we gamer folks like to say it. Well, if you had or are having it now all you have to do is to turn to Steam to blow it all away. According to an analysis report by Gamasutra, Steam has seen more game released in the last 20 weeks than it has released in all of 2013!
The large influx of games in 2014 on Steam is something that is credited partly to Steam’s Green Light feature that allows the community to elect a game to be published on Steam. In fact only recently there were as high as 75 games released on Steam in a single day too! The trend, as analyzed by Gamasutra in their graphs, has grown exponentially and judging from the recent trends of May, it seems that it will continue down that part.
This trend however has both pros and cons. The pros of this trend being that indie developers now have a definitive platform where they can independently showcase their ideas without having to go through the hoops related to publishers. And since is a community driven process, the developers have a minimalistic quality level to take care of too which is again reinforced by the competition.
However, the con of this system lies in the sheer number of games being released each day. As more and more games are released every day, their time on the front page is getting diminished; as such developers can’t showcase their games for longer than 24 hours at max. This is a big problem, which was the reason the concept of publishers came in the first place. There are a lot of indie games that are perhaps never seen by people and subsequently never played as it get buried under the big number of releases on Green Light every day.
Valve has however announced that the days of Green Light are numbered and will be removed entirely to make way for an even more open self-publishing system. Although nothing has been announced officially, nor said definitively by Valve, the new system will allow anyone to publish their game with the users of Steam acting as the curators. The developers can also host their own web-based Steam web-front.
Whatever it is Valve implements, one thing is for sure, indie developers will be given more freedom in releasing their game more effortlessly. Along with that they will be facing a tougher competition as the sheer number of games released reduces the exposure time each game gets drastically.