Shortly after opening their Steam Greenlight campaign for the game Paranautical Activity, the two-man studio Code Avarice got a phone call that would have made any indie's day: It was Adult Swim, offering to publish their game on Steam. Yeah, well, not so fast.
As Code Avarice's Mike Maulbeck and Travis Pfenning explain in that video above, when Adult Swim—taking a chance on a PC title after dealing mostly with flash and mobile games—went to pitch Paranautical Activity to Steam, they were told no dice. "[Steam's] response was basically, 'We don't want to send the message that indies should seek out publishers to get around Greenlight,'" the duo recalled.
Valve, through spokesman Doug Lombardi, confirmed the gist of the statement to PCGamesN. "Our message to indies regarding publishers is do it for your own reasons, but do not split your royalties with a publisher expecting an automatic ‘Yes’ on Greenlight.'"
Maulbeck and Pfenning are not happy.
"We've got a Greenlight campaign that we haven't even touched in months, and now we have to resurrect it from the ashes," they said.
They asked Adult Swim if it would work to promote their Greenlight campaign to get the game on Steam and the response was, more or less, no, because Adult Swim doesn't want to get sideways with Steam/Valve. "We haven't officially decided if we want to go with [Adult Swim]," Code Avarice said. "The fact we have to get on Steam with our own two feet," after getting this kind of an offer from a publisher, "is really a kind of bummer."