Earlier in the year, Mike Rose from indie games studio No More Robots brought up questions regarding the manipulation of Steam’s Upcoming Releases section that sits prominently on the front page of the Steam Store.
Little thread about a topic I've seen affecting numerous devs, and I'm now feeling the effects of myself:— Mike Rose (@RaveofRavendale) March 5, 2019
The Popular Upcoming list on Steam is a great spot on the Steam front page for upcoming games to be noticed.
Unfortunately, it's a (sometimes accidentally) manipulated mess pic.twitter.com/hRcagA7Klx
On the page, developers are apparently taking advantage of the fact that you could set any date as your game’s release date. This resulted in games having the ability to appear on the Upcoming Releases whenever they wanted to.
When these concerns were raised, Valve’s Tom Giardino responded saying that the Upcoming Releases section was a “big topic of discussion” and that “it frustrates us for the same reasons it frustrates you.”
Giardino also still maintained that it was important to Valve that developers be able to control the release date of their games, but Valve would be attempting to fix the flaw in their system.
And now, it looks like Valve has found a simple solution to the issues with Upcoming Releases.
Reddit user u/HeadlessIvan posted a screenshot of a new prompt that appears when you attempt to change the release date of a game on Steam.
Now, you’ll need to talk directly to Valve to update the release date of your game, meaning that those who took advantage of the freedom of open manipulation of release dates won’t have the ability to continually have their titles in the Upcoming Releases section of Steam.