Why hasn't it always worked this way?
Over the many years that Steam has been selling games, the release rate of games on Steam has continued to grow significantly. But given Steam's existing technological pipeline for releasing games, there's always been a reliance on a group of people to make tough choices on which games to not release on Steam. There are titles that have tied up this internal greenlight group in the past, and we knew there had to be a better way.
With the introduction of the Steam Workshop in October 2011, Steam established a flexible system within Steam that organizes content and lets customers rate and leave feedback. This opened up a new opportunity to enlist the community's help as we grow Steam and, hopefully, increase the volume and quality of creative submissions.
We know there is still a lot of room for improvement in making Steam distribution easier and faster; this is just a first step in that direction.
How does this differ from other store's submission processes?
The prime difference is the size of the team that gets to decide what gets released. For many stores, there is a team that reviews entries and decides what gets past the gates. We're approaching this from a different angle: The community should be deciding what gets released. After all, it’s the community that will ultimately be the ones deciding which release they spend their money on.