Valve seemingly found a way to stop Steam release date abuse

By Sherif Saed, Thursday, 8 August 2019 09:32 GMT

Valve has implemented a new change that’s likely intended to curb instances where developers are gaming Steam’s upcoming releases feature.

Over the past few months, more and more developers have spoken up about a worrying trend on Steam that has to do with game release dates and visibility on Valve’s platform.

Developers on Steam have the ability to set an internal release date for their games, which they could change freely. This doesn’t necessarily reflect the date the public sees on the game’s store page, and therein lies the trick.

The information developers enter into Steam’s backend is what the store’s algorithm uses to determine upcoming releases. By regularly changing your game’s intended release date, you have a bigger chance of landing on Steam’s ‘Popular Upcoming’ lists, which ups your visibility with anyone browsing the store.

If you’ve ever saw an interesting game on that list that had a vague release date, rather than sometime in the same month, this is why. Valve previously said it’s working on way to tackle it, and it seems a solution has been found.

Steam developer HeadlessIvan revealed Steam’s latest update in a Reddit post. Now, Valve requires developers to contact it directly if they want to change a game’s intended release date.

HeadlessIvan posted a screenshot of the message they received when changing the release date, which stresses, “You should be pretty certain that your new date is the date you will release.”

Time will tell if this is going to hurt legitimate delays, though so far at least it’s cleaned up the upcoming lists.

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