Steam Greenlight Failure Leads Indie Dev To Torrent His Own Game

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Steam Greenlight Failure Leads Indie Dev To Torrent His Own Game


Unable to make headway on Steam Greenlight, the developer of UFHO2 has put a torrent of the game on The Pirate Bay.

Things were looking pretty good for UFHO2 in 2012. A successful Steam Greenlight [https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tinycolossus/ufho2-a-turn-based-strategy-game]. And there it sat. The develeper, Ciro Continisio, announced last month that the game would be launching in full on Desura and the Humble Store on April 1, and so it did, yet the effort to get it on Steam remains stuck and ignored.

It didn't take long after its release on other digital storefronts for Steam's dominant position in the industry, coupled with the lack of progress in getting UFHO2 onto it, to convince Continisio that the game is effectively dead in the water. But instead of giving up, he's decided to just give it away.

"My game UFHO2 has been on Greenlight for 2+ years now, and with no luck. Is it so shitty?" he wrote in a Reddit post. "I released it days ago on Desura/Humble Store, but the trend is clear: nobody is going to buy it unless it's on Steam. Thus, I've put it on torrent so everyone can enjoy it."

It's an unfortunate outcome that speaks rather poorly of Steam Greenlight, although its dysfunction is hardly a secret, and also highlights the overriding importance of Steam to indie studios and the dangers of not making it through the Greenlight process. Fortunately for Continisio, he's having better luck with the iOS version [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ufho2/id840938380?mt=8] of the game.

"On mobile [UFHO2] is doing slightly better, because even if super crowded the App Store has mechanisms to make good game emerge, and a lot of websites publish articles about apps all the time," he wrote. "On Greenlight, nobody is really scouting for good games anymore."

UFHO2 is still available for purchase through Humble Store [http://www.desura.com/games/ufho2].

Source: Reddit [http://www.reddit.com/r/IndieGaming/comments/22ykao/greenlight_is_not_going_to_work_so_heres_the/]


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Ninjamedic

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Andy Chalk said:
It's an unfortunate outcome that speaks rather poorly of Steam Greenlight, although its dysfunction is hardly a secret, and also highlights the overriding importance of Steam to indie studios and the dangers of not making it through the Greenlight process. Fortunately for Continisio, he's having better luck with the iOS version [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ufho2/id840938380?mt=8] of the game.
I'd say it highlights the consequences of giving one group a near monopoly and control on an entire market, they can treat devs how they like without worry of consequence since outside of pirating and GoG, they're effectively the only game in town.

The legions of apolgoists don't help either, but it goes to show how effective PR is nowadays. Hopefully he might al least get a reputation is the game is good so future projects may go more smoothly.
 

Skeleon

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Good to hear he's on Humble and Desura, at least, but unfortunately Steam still is the biggest digital distributor.
And thanks to that, a lot of the issues with it, including Greenlight, aren't being adressed. The scourge of oligopolies, eh.
As much as I like DRM-free platforms and dislike Steam, even I can't deny: Not getting on there is seriously harmful for devs.
Well, looks like I got kinda ninja'd by Ninjamedic there. Appropriate, really.
 

Zipa

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Maybe lack of any sort of publicity has something to do with it, I have never seen or heard of this game until now. Other indie games however I have heard of them before such as Broforce and that started life as a kickstarter and went through greenlight to.
 

Ninjamedic

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Skeleon said:
Well, looks like I got kinda ninja'd by Ninjamedic there. Appropriate, really.
To be fair, your comment is more eloquent then mine.

Captcha: bots are bad m'kay

Oh the irony.
 

Vivi22

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Zipa said:
Maybe lack of any sort of publicity has something to do with it, I have never seen or heard of this game until now. Other indie games however I have heard of them before such as Broforce and that started life as a kickstarter and went through greenlight to.
I've got to agree. I've never heard of it before, and I really doubt that seeing it pop up on Steam, if I saw it at all, would make me whip out my credit card. Sounds like successful kickstarter or not, they just did not get the word out and build some momentum through word of mouth. It sucks for them, but getting onto Steam wouldn't fix that. You might sell a bit more, but if you're not making people aware of the game and your players aren't either, you're dead in the water no matter where you release.
 

Falterfire

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Ninjamedic said:
I'd say it highlights the consequences of giving one group a near monopoly and control on an entire market, they can treat devs how they like without worry of consequence since outside of pirating and GoG, they're effectively the only game in town.

The legions of apolgoists don't help either, but it goes to show how effective PR is nowadays. Hopefully he might al least get a reputation is the game is good so future projects may go more smoothly.
Yeah, because Valve is going out of their way to actively going out of their way to shut down Desura, Origin, uPlay, and others. There is absolutely nothing stopping another company from attempting to compete with Valve. Many are and do. Steam is the most powerful force in the market but it's hardly a monopoly, just the most popular storefront for digital games.

This guy is welcome to sell his game on his own site. There's no rules against that. It just means he has to shoulder all the distributing and marketing costs himself.
 

Ninjamedic

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Falterfire said:
Yeah, because Valve is going out of their way to actively going out of their way to shut down Desura, Origin, uPlay, and others.
Please point to where I said or even implied that.

There is absolutely nothing stopping another company from attempting to compete with Valve.
From attempting, definately nothing. But any chance of success? Good luck with that.


Many are and do. Steam is the most powerful force in the market but it's hardly a monopoly, just the most popular storefront for digital games.
So that SSA note on your copies of Skyrim, Terraria or Europa Universalis are just there for alliteration? They're definately not the only distributor, but even saying they're "major" is an understatement. (Realised I used "major" there instead of "most powerful, though you get the jist of what I'm saying here")

This guy is welcome to sell his game on his own site. There's no rules against that. It just means he has to shoulder all the distributing and marketing costs himself.
Well that's nothing then, Is it?
 
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It's unfair to compare mobile app stores with greenlight since they're so different in both propose and execution. The app store allows buying, playing and rating games on it. Greenlight games are not able to be played, they're just a pitch, an idea for people vote on. One cannot buy or play a greenlight game, only vote on whether or not it should be on steam.

Sad for the developer, particularly in light of the garbage steam list and sell these days.
 

Andy Chalk

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Considering that shovelware publishers publishers are able to vomit all over the front page of steam burring actual new and interesting games and truing the 'new releases' section into a no-go parody of its former self this is the exact type of game steam was SUPPOSED to support.

Steam needs QA. Its that simple. They shouldn't be selling "Guise of the Wolf" or any other non functional game. Steam is in a failure state right now and poised to have literally tens of thousands of hidden object 'games', former browser games and casual Walmat bargain bin fodder dumped in huge batches onto its store simply because it has let these 'publishers' get away with anything whilst not supporting good developers directly.
 

Covarr

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I doubt people who Kickstarted it even knew it was on Greenlight. I can't find an update on the Kickstarter project itself saying as much. The game's website doesn't mention it in an obvious way either; it's just a small icon mixed in with the social media icons. If you can't adequately keep even your own fans informed, of course they won't vote for you on Greenlight.

P.S. Thanks
 

Ipsen

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Ninjamedic said:
Andy Chalk said:
It's an unfortunate outcome that speaks rather poorly of Steam Greenlight, although its dysfunction is hardly a secret, and also highlights the overriding importance of Steam to indie studios and the dangers of not making it through the Greenlight process. Fortunately for Continisio, he's having better luck with the iOS version [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ufho2/id840938380?mt=8] of the game.
I'd say it highlights the consequences of giving one group a near monopoly and control on an entire market, they can treat devs how they like without worry of consequence since outside of pirating and GoG, they're effectively the only game in town.
I wouldn't be so quick to blame Steam, the company for issues like this case. Steam only has its pervasiveness because of its users, and what is Greenlight, but a voting platform for the users? We decide what goes up on Steam.

Unfortunately, 'we' is quite subjective, and not always all-inclusive. A simple voting platform invites all sorts of shennanigans by being a popularity constest.

Not to mention that,considering the sheer volume of games being submitted nowadays, the way Steam would have games properly curated (remember, WE decide!) would have us spending so much of OUR time just voting on stuff for the store. Time that could be spent playing games.
 

Sarge034

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Andy Chalk said:
Did you really just provide a direct link to pirate bay? I've seen regular users banned for less so stay classy Escapist.

OT- The question must be asked but is the game shit? Everyone is making the dev out to be the victim here but what if the game didn't get green lit because it was bad and/or no one wanted it?
 

Ninjamedic

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Ipsen said:
I wouldn't be so quick to blame Steam, the company for issues like this case. Steam only has its pervasiveness because of its users, and what is Greenlight, but a voting platform for the users? We decide what goes up on Steam.
The voting platform is controlled by Steam though, the onus is on them to fix it if there is a problem.[footnote]This point rests on the assumption of Steam's main defenders claim that it's the best DD platform.[/footnote] The developers can't do anything about it (though as we've seen with many recent debacles, the makers of the shovelware and unfinished games that plague Steam are given Carte Blanche to control the image of their game on Steam). If the devs don't like it, then they'll have to find another way of getting their game out there, which isn't that easy.

Of course a 'simple' voting system can be abused. It shouldn't be so simple then should it?
 

Albino Boo

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Ninjamedic said:
I'd say it highlights the consequences of giving one group a near monopoly and control on an entire market, they can treat devs how they like without worry of consequence since outside of pirating and GoG, they're effectively the only game in town.

The legions of apolgoists don't help either, but it goes to show how effective PR is nowadays. Hopefully he might al least get a reputation is the game is good so future projects may go more smoothly.
Utter nonsense. Its up the people putting their games on to greenlight to market it. Steam is not going to do that for them and if you can't do your own marketing as an indie you are never going to make it whatever platform you use.
 

Ninjamedic

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albino boo said:
Utter nonsense.
And a howdy to you too.

Its up the people putting their games on to greenlight to market it. Steam is not going to do that for them and if you can't do your own marketing as an indie you are never going to make it whatever platform you use.
Fair enough then, though I have to wonder why you'd use Greenlight then. I just read this on Valve's page on it:

Who should submit their games to Steam Greenlight? Is there another way to submit my game to Steam?

Steam Greenlight has replaced our previous submission process. Any developer or publisher who is new to Steam and interested in submitting their game to the platform should submit their game through Steam Greenlight.
So there is no real benefit for Greenlight to developers then, it's just another set of hoops for indies to go through.
 

major_chaos

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And this is perhaps what I hate most about Greenlight. Even if it wasn't a miserable clusterfuck that has accomplished absolutely nothing it wouldn't change the fact that the overwhelming "no steam, no buy" attitude creates an environment where unless your name is Notch failure to get on steam basically locks you out of major success. (as an indie, AAA is different obviously, although I suspect even in that sector not being on Steam is a bad idea)
 

Albino Boo

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Ninjamedic said:
albino boo said:
Utter nonsense.
And a howdy to you too.

Its up the people putting their games on to greenlight to market it. Steam is not going to do that for them and if you can't do your own marketing as an indie you are never going to make it whatever platform you use.
Fair enough then, though I have to wonder why you'd use Greenlight then. I just read this on Valve's page on it:

Who should submit their games to Steam Greenlight? Is there another way to submit my game to Steam?

Steam Greenlight has replaced our previous submission process. Any developer or publisher who is new to Steam and interested in submitting their game to the platform should submit their game through Steam Greenlight.
So there is no real benefit for Greenlight to developers then, it's just another set of hoops for indies to go through.
Oh for god sake man there is no benefit on being on the largest pc game retailer then? Valve is not the publisher of the game but just a retailer and if you want them do your marketing for you then you sign a publishing deal. This means they will take more of the money and probably the ip as well. Business do not do things out the kindness of their hearts, if you cant drum up enough people to vote for you then you wont drum up sales either.
 

Ninjamedic

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albino boo said:
there is no benefit on being on the largest pc game retailer then?
Well according to every news piece we've heard about Greenlight, I guess?





VAlve is not the publisher of the game but just a retailer and if you want them do your marketing for you then you sing a publishing deal. Business do not do thins out the kindness of their hearts, if you cant drum up enough people to vote for you then you wont drum up sales either.
Let me go back to my main point here: "the consequences of giving one group a near monopoly and control on an entire market, they can treat devs how they like without worry of consequence"

I'm not exactly seeing a counter to that, I'm not disputing that Valve aren't obligated to do marketing. I'm just pointing out how stupid Greenlight is.
 

Andy Chalk

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Maybe people aren't buying it because it looks reeealy boring?

I know I wouldn't even want to try it even if I got it for free.