Valve is ditching Greenlight, the vote-based system that for the past five years has been the way smaller developers get games onto Steam.

Replacing Greenlight in autumn of this year is Steam Direct, which allows anyone to post a game to Steam, provided they fill out some paperwork and pay an as-yet undetermined fee.

The fee is intended to reduce spam submissions, and it can be recouped by a developer if its game sells.

The company is consulting with developers and studios about an appropriate fee, and so far responses have been as low as US$100 and as high as US$5000.

"There are pros and cons at either end of the spectrum, so we’d like to gather more feedback before settling on a number," said Valve.

According to the company, its goal is to provide developers and publishers with a more direct publishing path, and to connect gamers with content they will enjoy.

Greenlight helped lower the barrier to publishing, and delivered many great new games to Steam, it said, citing the 100-plus Greenlight titles that went on to make at least US$1m.

"Many of those would likely not have been published in the old, heavily curated Steam store," said Valve.

"One of the clearest metrics is that the average time customers spend playing games on Steam has steadily increased since the first Discovery Update.

"Over the same time period, the average number of titles purchased on Steam by individual customers has doubled," it added.

"Both of these data points suggest that we’re achieving our goal of helping users find more games that they enjoy playing."

Valve added that it wants to make Steam a welcoming environment for all developers who are serious about treating customers fairly and making quality gaming experiences.

"When we consider any new features or changes for Steam, our primary goal is to make customers happy. We measure that happiness by how well we are able to connect customers with great content," it said.

"We intend to keep iterating on Steam’s shopping experience, the content pipeline and everything in between."

The reaction on Twitter to Steam Direct has so far been mixed. While some are keen to see Greenlight go, it seems using a submission fee as quality control isn't popular.