Valve announced today via the Steam Blog that Steam's current Greenlight program will be ending this year, and will be replaced by a new initiative called Steam Direct. After Launching in 2012, Steam Greenlight served as a more streamlined approach for publishers looking to sell their games on the Steam marketplace, as opposed to the heavily curated method previously employed by Steam. 

Details on Steam Direct are scarce, though the Steam Blog does detail some of the communications they've done with publishers regarding submission fees in the new program. 

The next step in these improvements is to establish a new direct sign-up system for developers to put their games on Steam. This new path, which we’re calling “Steam Direct,” is targeted for Spring 2017 and will replace Steam Greenlight. We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account. Once set up, developers will pay a recoupable application fee f or each new title they wish to distribute, which is intended to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline.


While we have invested heavily in our content pipeline and personalized store, we’re still debating the publishing fee for Steam Direct. We talked to several developers and studios about an appropriate fee, and they gave us a range of responses from as low as $100 to as high as $5,000. There are pros and cons at either end of the spectrum, so we’d like to gather more feedback before settling on a number. 

Steam Direct doesn't have a specific date yet, but is set to arrive Spring 2017. 

[Source: Steam Blog]

 

Our Take
There's no way yet to predict how this will affect the publisher side of things, but this could very well be a quality control measure to help prevent good games from being buried by shovelware that seems to have infested the Steam marketplace in the last few years.