A lack of reviews and low scores (resulting in a low metacritic score) was the reason given when one of our contacts asked someone at Valve directly why Dawn of Fantasy wasn't approved yet.
As I see it, there are several ways to get your game on Steam
- You have a publisher pushing the game
- Someone at Valve likes your game
- You've struck a deal with Valve
- You've submitted a demo of your game to Steam before release and they think it will do ok
- Your game has a high enough metacritic score
- You've spammed the Steam submission until they give up
And soon there will be Steam Greenlight.
I don't know how Fray got on Steam, I'm guessing they made their application months before release using a demo (which would be expected to be buggy) and Valve thought it would be a decent enough game if the bugs were fixed. However they did it, good luck to them.
As for us, it's not like we can submit a pre-release demo
so for now, we're trying the option of getting more reviews to boost our metacritic score, which has the added benefit of getting word out about Dawn of Fantasy. We've already heard back from a number of reviewers to let us know that they will be writing their reviews soon.
Once we get a few reviews in and our metacritic score goes over 60, we will resubmit to Steam. We will also use Steam Greenlight to give ourselves another chance when the time comes.
If neither of those work, we will consider other options.