People are absolutely losing their minds over a $5,000 fee that was merely mentioned in Valve's new blog posting about Steam Direct. Oh yeah, Valve announced Steam Direct today. Steam Direct is slated to completely replace Steam Greenlight. That's the good news!

The bad news is that people are more focusing more on one particular aspect of today's announcement: Pricing. See, Valve asked developers how much they would be willing to pay to get their game added to Steam Direct. The prices they got back ranged from $100 to $5,000. Naturally, you can guess that everybody is focusing on that $5k figure and are making a mountain out of a molehill.

See, Valve hasn't actually announced what their pricing structure is actually going to be. They just passed along the results of their polling. That's it. That's literally it. Stop freaking out. If Valve comes along later on and officially says that they're going to require everyone interested in Steam Direct to pony up $5,000, then you can freak out. Until then just stop. You look silly complaining about that.

Anyway, what exactly is Steam Direct?
A better path for digital distribution

I suppose that's neat? What did Valve actually take away from their clustertruck of a mess that is Steam Greenlight?
After the launch of Steam Greenlight, we realized that it was a useful stepping stone for moving to a more direct distribution system, but it still left us short of that goal. Along the way, it helped us lower the barrier to publishing for many developers while delivering many great new games to Steam. There are now over 100 Greenlight titles that have made at least $1 Million each, and many of those would likely not have been published in the old, heavily curated Steam store.

These unforeseen successes made it abundantly clear that there are many different audiences on Steam, each looking for a different experience. For example, we see some people that sink thousands of hours into one or two games, while others purchase dozens of titles each year and play portions of each. Some customers are really excited about 4X strategy games, while others just buy visual novels.

Greenlight also exposed two key problems we still needed to address: improving the entire pipeline for bringing new content to Steam and finding more ways to connect customers with the types of content they wanted.

To solve these problems a lot of work was done behind the scenes, where we overhauled the developer publishing tools in Steamworks to help developers get closer to their customers. Other work has been much more visible, such as the Discovery Updates and the introduction of features like user reviews, discovery queues, user tags, streamlined refunds, and Steam Curators.

Yes, but what about the shovelware and the asset flip games that plague Greenlight? Sadly, Valve didn't really talk about that. What they did mention were some of the details about their Discovery Update. You can find that information via Gamasutra. An example of the data can be seen below.