Who am I? A lover of the video game industry. I read about video games more than I play them. The various aspects and mechanics of design are what really intrigue me, and it's always fun to have a healthy debate about them.
DISCLAIMER: I do not use Steam, nor have I played Mutant Mudds.
Jonathan Holmes recently put out an article on Mutant Mudds’ trouble with Greenlight. In it, he asks, among other things, why a person would not vote “Yes” to see the game on Steam, and why a person would “bother trying to actively stop any videogame succeeding?” One glance down into the comments would answer both questions – or rather, show why these are both terrible questions to ask.
As I stated above, I do not use Steam. Anything I know about Greenlight I’ve learned from other users, both in the comments of Holmes’ article and elsewhere. As I understand it, Greenlight presents you a game and asks if you would buy it. If yes, a “Yes” vote is added to a tally and the game is removed from your queue. If you vote “No,” it simply lets Steam you are not interested and, rather than counting against the game, simply removes it from the queue. Telling Steam to ask you again later puts the game back into your queue, to ask you again at a later time.
In the first two scenarios, the outcome is almost identical: the game is removed from the queue, and the game either has a “Yes” vote, or it doesn’t. That’s it. There isn’t a separate tally of “No” votes that somehow counterbalance the positive votes. All it means is that the voter is not interested in the game. Claiming otherwise is either a failure to understand the system or an attempt to bend the system to your whims. More importantly, though, is that it is outright disingenuous to your readers to claim that a “No” vote means you are actively trying to stop the game from getting onto Steam.
Holmes is not the only to display that attitude, however. If you dig through the comments, you can find this little gem:
This being the internet, I can’t honestly tell whether or not Mr. Dixon was joking. Regardless, though, the attitude it puts off is just flat out wrong. News Flash: just because you like the game and gave it a good review, does not mean everyone else wants to play the game. I’ve seen Mutant Mudds in action, both from the coverage Destructoid has given the game and from the small amount of promotion Nintendo has done for the game. If you asked me if I would buy the game, I would answer honestly and say no. The game doesn’t interest me, and it doesn’t even seem to be a very good game. That doesn’t mean I want to stop others from playing the game, though.
Asking everyone to up-vote the game on Greenlight is a disservice to your readers, a disservice to Valve, and a disservice to the game. You’re asking your readers to compromise their honesty, and then guilt-tripping them if they don’t. By voting the game up on Greenlight, when you will not actually purchase the game, you may create unreasonable expectations for the game to perform better than it actually will. Renegade Kid should look to this situation and, rather than saying people are trying to block the game from Steam, ask them why they do not find the game interesting. Keep that criticism in mind, and perhaps next time your game will perform better on Greenlight. Otherwise, you simply will not improve.