Developers On Steam Now Need Valve's Approval To Change Their Release Dates

It's primarily to stop the abuse of the Upcoming Releases section.
Steam announces its top 20 releases for the month of April 2019.
Steam announces its top 20 releases for the month of April 2019. Valve

One of the biggest problems you tend to encounter while browsing for new and upcoming releases on Steam is that once every few weeks you’ll notice that the games on the list don’t change at all. It seems that this problem has been presenting a very unique conundrum for Valve for quite some time, without really taking any action – until today, that is.

As first reported on a thread on Reddit made by a user named HeadlessIvan, it seems that developers and publishers looking to release their games on Steam now need to have a definite idea for their release date. If that release date needs to be changed due to various reasons, Valve will need to review it first, which effectively means that the current Upcoming Releases section can’t be abused any more.

As there are some players who were unaware of this issue before this happened, allow me to explain: for quite some time now, there have been a few publishers and developers who keep changing and updating their release dates to be featured in the Upcoming Releases section, even though the game is not near its actual release date yet. This abuse basically grants these games free advertisement through one of the most viewed sections of Steam, as a lot of PC players looking for new titles to play almost always end up browsing the Upcoming Releases section.

Now, there have been some who pointed out that this is somewhat disadvantageous to smaller development teams who often face difficulties with projected release dates due to various constraints. In my opinion, all of these are somewhat moot, as this will only impact games that change release dates an unnatural number of times in, let’s say a month or three.

As much as we try to avoid it, some people have attributed this to a blow on previously announced titles on Steam that end up becoming Epic exclusives. As much as I’m of the opinion that Valve should do something to discourage this in order to quell the resulting backlash, this change will mostly only affect Upcoming Releases – although it would be interesting to see if this affects Epic exclusives, too.


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