Most Steam users will agree that the storefront's 'Upcoming' tab is a little on the unhelpful side. Given how many hundreds of games release on the platform every week, you can never be sure whether you're missing out on something great. But that's theoretically coming to an end, because Valve has just rolled out changes to the feature.
Described as a "smarter, more tailored list", the new 'Popular Upcoming' tab will compile games that have attracted considerable pre-release interest. This is determined by how many users have wishlisted the game, how many have pre-ordered, and whether the studio has a reputation for releasing good games.
More useful will be the 'see more Upcoming Releases' button, which provides a list based on your personal interests and habits. "If you follow a developer or publisher with a new game coming out, the Upcoming Releases page will feature those games," the news post reads. "If you've wishlisted a game, it will appear here as well. If you've shown Steam some of your interests, we'll be taking that into account as you browse through games that are coming to Steam."
Naturally, this list will exclude any genres that you've previously blocked or filtered out on Steam. But if you're like me and like to see everything (warts, asset flips and all) that functionality will remain.
These changes may be cause for concern among indie developers who struggle to get visibility on Steam: now there's a chance that their games will receive no storefront visibility.
To this concern, Valve had the following: "We've spent a lot of time looking at data about how folks find and buy games and are certain that isn't the case. The previous iteration of Upcoming was just too unfiltered for most customers to use it effectively."
It continues: "A piece of data for you: the old Upcoming list was only clicked on by less than half of one percent of customers whereas Top Sellers is clicked on by almost four percent. It's clear to us that a brief (and sometimes very brief) spot on Steam's front page isn't useful if your game is shown to a random set of customers - what's best for everyone is if your game is shown to the right customers, ones who have shown that they might like your game. If you're building a great, entertaining product with a store page to match, these improvements will facilitate connections to those customers in a higher quality way."
For the full post, head over here.