Good Old Games (GOG) is launching an indie game submission service which appears to address much of the criticism levelled at Steam’s Greenlight program.
The GOG service will not require a submission fee unlike Greenlight and also aims to be much more transparent with why a submission is rejected, countering Valve’s policy of not disclosing exactly what it takes to get a game onto its digital distribution platform.
’We'll tell you exactly what we think about your title," said a GOG spokesperson. [i]’We know our users' tastes, and we do our best to present them with a selection of DRM-free games they'll enjoy.’
In particular, GOG will be on the look out for qualities including gameplay depth, originality and the level of polish evident in a title. The company also intends to always provide feedback and get back to submitters within two business weeks on average.
’We will contact you directly to tell you how your title fits with those standards in our opinion.’
GOG’s platform will also not be inviting a public vote and everything will instead be reviewed internally.
Financially, a project funded by the developers themselves will see a 70/30 split with GOG in favour of the developer, and GOG are willing to give advances and split the proceeds 60/40 instead. As an added bonus, with the 60/40 split, once GOG has recouped its investment, it’s even willing to revert back to the default 70/30.
On top of this, GOG will help with the marketing of titles on its platform, providing cross media coverage across social platforms and featuring it on the site’s main page.
Although GOG is countering many of the serious criticisms of Greenlight, it is still worth pointing out that GOG is a much smaller operation than Steam and has nowhere near the same draw to developers, despite being an incredibly strong platform in its own right. Some of the more maligned features of Greenlight were also in response to issues caused by its initial launch, in particular the $100 submission fee which was implemented to cut down on some of the more spammy submissions.