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Valve's Greenlight replacement, Steam Direct, launches today

Steam Direct, Valve's new self-publishing option and Greenlight replacement, is officially up and running. Here's what developers need to know about the new service.

Steam Direct, Valve’s new self-publishing option and Greenlight replacement, is officially up and running. Thanks to that, Valve has dropped a new blog post detailing the steps developers will now need to take if they want to release a game through Steam Direct.

A full breakdown of the submission process is up on Steamworks now, but Valve says the process can more or less be summarized in three key steps: paperwork, payment, and review. 

Things kick off with a smattering of digital paperwork developers will need to fill out during the submission process. Those required documents range from basic company information, bank details for game proceeds, and tax information, to paperwork for identity verification.

Alongside the initial paperwork submission, developers will have to pay Steam Direct’s application fee, currently set at $100 per submission application. After that first fee is paid, developers officially have access to Steamworks and can submit additional games to the platform for that same fee. As previously announced, developers will be able to recoup a game’s submission fee after a title reaches $1,000 earned in sales or in-app purchases

After the paperwork is filed and a game has been submitted to Steam Direct, each game is set to undergo a review process that sees titles endure what Valve describes as a brief review period.

“Building a release pipeline to support thousands of developers and millions of customers is a delicate balance,” explains Valve. “We specifically don't want an onerous and detailed certification process that makes it difficult for developers to release games, but we also want some level of confidence that games are configured correctly and aren't going to do unexpected things to customers' computers.”

To that end, Valve says each game will be assessed briefly by a team member to check that it is configured properly, matches its store description, and is free of malicious content.

Provided a game is free of error, Valve says this process should only take roughly a day or two.

Valve’s developer portal has received a fresh coat of paint as well. The company has updated Steamworks' documentation on APIs, tools, features, and best developer practices. Additionally, the documentation overhaul included a handful of organizational changes that should hopefully make it easier to find information in the developer portal.

The full blog post talks more about Greenlight’s final days and offers advice for developers that might have had a game waiting for approval when the service shut down last week.

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