It amazes me that valve have got grief for requiring indie devs to pay a $100 fee to list a game on greenlight. I agree with their stance 100% and here is why:
1) They had a crap-submissions and spam problem. This solves it immediately. Nobody will pay $100 to submit half life 3 or a joke app. That instantly raises the attractiveness of the greenlight site to both gamers and legit developers.
2) The money goes to charity, they clearly aren’t doing this for commercial gain.
3) This asks whether the developers are actually serious about getting some sales of their game. Games with clearly zero sales potential, or half-assed efforts, or games that are of extremely low quality will no longer clutter up the system.
I’ll be honest with you, a huge chunk of indie games suck. The vast vast majority of every indie developers first games suck. My first game pretty much sucked. In fact it took me about five or six games before I made anything I can honestly say should even be considered for sale on steam.
One of the big criticisms I’m hearing is that indie developers do not have $100. I really doubt that. We are always told that indie developers are passionate, hard working, keen, driven, motivated gaming enthusiasts who love what they do. And yet they can’t find $100 to make that dream come true?
Lets assume you are a penniless indie developer that used entirely open source software to make your game, used free artwork, did all the work yourself, and you still have a commercial quality game that will sit alongside braid, frozen synapse and gratuitous space battles. But somehow you don’t have $100, and no way of getting it… really?
I’d sell something. I’d sell my mobile phone, I’d sell my TV. If I had to, I’d sell my flipping sofa. If I really thought my game would be popular on steam and sell well. Or I’d get a loan for $100. Or set up a kickstarter for it, or I’d take casual work on a building site for a week, or whatever else I could.
If it was $1,000 or $10,0000, I’d agree it’s a tough payment to get together for some indies. But $100? Really?