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As an update to an article we posted recently about Valve seeming to need confirmation of release date changes on Steam, Valve have now confirmed this.

If you're not keeping up and to save you a quick click: Some developers were constantly changing their release date, even if they had no intention of releasing on that new date. It affected pages like the upcoming releases list and made their games always show up near the top.

Now, in a blog post on the Steamworks Development group, the Valve developer confirmed the recent change was made to address "developers that intentionally or unintentionally changed their release dates multiple times". This should hopefully make it less annoying for both players and developers, as it had been a problem for quite some time.

Additionally, Valve will now be sending email reminders to all developers when it's coming up to two weeks before their currently set date. Previously, Valve were only sending this out to a small set of games "as a test" but now every developer will get it.

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EMO GANGSTER 12 August 2019 at 5:07 pm UTC
this did really need to happen hopefully, there will be more steps unclutter steam store page

Last edited by EMO GANGSTER at 12 August 2019 at 5:08 pm UTC
scaine 12 August 2019 at 5:48 pm UTC
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That's a relief. I used to check the upcoming pages quite frequently until it became apparent this abuse was more and more abundant.
Ehvis 12 August 2019 at 5:52 pm UTC
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Welcome change. I actually taught myself to check for a price first and skip anything that didn't. Shouldn't have to do that.
vector 12 August 2019 at 9:56 pm UTC
Hear, hear.

Tangentially but relatedly, curation and moderation can be fine lines to walk (I would hate to see them misused as bludgeons), but there are times (e.g. like this and that) I wish more was done proactively rather than reactively.

On the other hand, I'm not sure there is a clear path to reinstatement for banned developers who have done contemptible things like pay for sham reviews (like the Far-Out developer did and was banned for). I do not make light of duplicitous reviews, they're shameful, but at the same time, I feel many AAA publishers essentially achieve the same end by using their garnered influence to manipulate, such as which outlets they grant access to (i.e. using gatekeeping as a carrot and stick to encourage mostly positive coverage) and the inveiglements they engage in. Indie developers don't have that clout.

Given the profusion of games (let's be honest, a lot of which are, and were intended to be, crap) on Steam, I am inclined to be more sympathetic to earnest indie developers who have tried to game the system by changing release dates or paying for dummy reviews, as I imagine they are desperate to get their games noticed amid the congested fray. In doing so, they have disgraced themselves, but for those who have been banned as a result, if there isn't a reinstatement policy in place for them to earn/prove contrition, I would not be opposed to such a policy being enacted.

The vast majority of indie developers do the right thing, and I am not suggesting a feeble slap on the wrist for those who have instead run afoul, but it should be recognized that (mostly) decent people do sometimes commit wrongful actions, and I hope there is a road back to Steam for legitimate developers who have previously acted in bad faith and were banned (if they are now reformed).

Last edited by vector at 13 August 2019 at 12:16 am UTC
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