On the pulse of crowdfunded gaming

32% of Steam Greenlight games get greenlit, and other Valve stats

Posted by Tyler Colp on August 25, 2014 | Jump to 2 comments

Valve doesn’t like to release a lot of information about Steam, but using what little is available, we can glean a few interesting stats from the popular digital storefront.

You should note that all of these numbers are based off of the current Steam website.

1. Valve has donated about $33,580 to the Child’s Play charity

There are about 3,428 games on Steam Greenlight. To put a game on the service, Valve requires developers to donate $100. It started this after about 700 games were submitted to the program. All of that money–minus taxes and the initial 700–was donated to Child’s Play, a charity that provides games and other entertainment to children in hospitals.

2. About 32 percent of Steam Greenlight games have been greenlit

The Steam community votes on Steam Greenlight games and then Valve chooses about 50 of the highest-voted games a month to appear on the platform when they’re ready. This bypasses traditional means of getting on the service and lets people help determine what games get released. This has been going on since August 2012, when the program started.

Of the 3,428 games on Steam Greenlight, only 32 percent of them have been approved. A low number like that makes sense since the low barrier to entry means tons of games get submitted to the platform.


3. About 36 percent of those games have been released

In the two years Valve has been approving games on Steam Greenlight, less than half of them have actually been released. That’s 398 games out of 3,428. And when we say “released” that could mean either finished or available through Early Access.

4. About 44 percent of Steam Early Access games have multiplayer

There’s a lot of multiplayer games on Steam Early Access. The success of games like DayZ and Rust surely influenced a lot of the multiplayer games that are available on the service. So, unsurprisingly, 113 of the 256 games on Early Access have some kind of multiplayer.


5. About 39 percent of Steam Early Access games are tagged as RPG

Games genres are fuzzy. Try to explain the different between an action game and an adventure game. It’s not easy. Describing an RPG isn’t really either, but it’s interesting, at least, that a good chunk of Early Access games are considered RPGs in some way.


6. About 88 percent of Steam Early Access games are tagged as indie

The term “indie” is getting to be almost as fuzzy as game genres, but a lot of Early Access games are tagged this way. Traditional publishers like Activision or Deep Silver don’t usually go the Early Access route, which leaves a lot of smaller developers and publishers to the platform. If we go by the standard definition that indie games are games that are published through non-traditional means and you can accept that a small publisher counts, then it probably makes sense that 88 percent of the games are considered indie.



  • “34,428” is not a correct number. It’s off by an order of ten; there are around 3440 games that have been listed on Greenlight. You keep making the mistake throughout the article, which is weird because all of your stats about the percentages only work if you correct your mistake.

    Moreover, not all of those people paid the $100 entry fee–the first 1500 or so were before the fee was put up. And the fee is not the same in every region, and the fee has been discounted for sales.

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