Valve opens Greenlight to non-gaming content

October 18, 2012 // 11:02 a.m.

Tags: #digital-distribution #greenlight #software #steam #steam-greenlight #valve #windows-store

Valve's Steam Greenlight project, an attempt by the company to crowd-source approval for independent software projects to be listed on its digital distribution platform, has been upgraded - and it's not just for games any more.

Valve's latest change to the Greenlight programme sees developers given the go-ahead to post up non-gaming content for the first time, providing a channel for the sale of more serious software packages. The system works just like the games section of Greenlight: developers can post up their packages, and the community then provides feedback on which should make their way into Steam proper.

The update also provides the ability for developers to list as-yet unreleased software, even at the very early design stage, in order to build up a community of prospective customers ahead of launch. Concepts can be posted up on Greenlight for free, but the voting process only provides an indication of popularity for the developer; when the package is ready to be listed properly, the voting process begins from scratch.

Additional changes made to the platform include a change to the front page to highlight both recent submissions and Steam friends' favourites in addition to recent Greenlight-related nes, the ability for developers to add additional contributors to an item for moderation or feedback response purposes, a widget creator to help with project promotion, and Steam Greenlight logo packages for putting on third-party sites.

The addition of non-gaming content to Greenlight indicates Valve's desire to turn Steam into a one-stop software shop. It's no surprise, really: companies like Apple and Google rake in a fortune from their respective application stores, and with the launch of Windows 8 Microsoft is going to be after a slice of the pie. While Valve has a respectable reputation among gamers, the company is going to have to work hard to convince office types that Steam is a valid place to buy their software - something with which a boosted ecosystem through Greenlight could help.

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