Steamworks Documentation
Steam Next Fest: February 2022


Steam Next Fest returns on February 21st through 28th, 2022! Steam Next Fest is a multi-day celebration where fans can try out demos, chat with developers, watch livestreams, and learn about upcoming games on Steam. For developers, Steam Next Fest is an opportunity to get early feedback from players and build an audience for a future launch on Steam.

During this time, games will be organized on the landing page based on the categories you select when registering as well as based on the tags that are applied to your base game's store page. See Visibility of Games below for more details.

Steam Next Fest displays live broadcasts from games based on a schedule that allows you to select up to two times for your game's livestream to be promoted more prominently. See Livestreaming Events below for more details.

Event Dates

Starts: Monday, February 21st, 2022 @ 10AM PST
Ends: Monday, February 28th, 2022 @ 10AM PST

Table of contents

Registration Details

Registration Date

Registration must be completed by Monday, December 6th, 2021 at 11:59PM PST.


Steam Next Fest: February 2022 is open to upcoming games which meet all of the following criteria:

  • Associated with a Steamworks developer account in good standing
  • Visible on Steam as Coming Soon at the time of registration 
  • Includes a publicly playable demo by the time the festival begins 
  • To be released between February 28, 2022 and September 1, 2022 (as indicated by the Release Date set on your app landing page in Steamworks)
  • Each game can participate in one Steam Game Festival or Steam Next Fest within a year period.*

    We can confirm that we're already planning another Steam Next Fest for June 2022, so please plan to participate in the event that best suits your release plans!

    * We understand that delays happen. If your game still hasn't shipped a year after your participation in Steam Next Fest, you can participate again.

Registration Process (Complete by Dec 6th, 2021)

To register your game, complete the following steps for each game you plan to submit.

  1. Visit this URL to see all your games that qualify: (note if your Steam account is a member of multiple Steamworks Partners, you may need to switch Partners at the very top of the Steamworks page to see the appropriate games)
  2. Set up and publish the Coming Soon store page for your BASE game (not your demo). This base game page is where your demo button will appear and where players will learn about your game. You will need to have a Coming Soon page set up and publicly visible in order to complete the registration.
  3. Complete the Registration Checklist for each game you wish to participate. Note that you need to register your BASE game for the festival.

Complete prior to Festival start date

  • Upload and configure your demo on Steam.
  • Submit your demo store assets and build at least 3-5 business days ahead of the start of the festival to allow enough time to be reviewed. (Feb 4th at the latest if you wish to participate in the Press Preview)
  • Release your demo. You can release your demo at any time once it has been reviewed and approved. We encourage you to release your demo a little before the festival starts to make sure it's working properly and you have enough time to troubleshoot any issues before the festival begins.
    • Release on Feb 10 if you wish for your demo to be playable for press during the Press Preview
    • Release on Feb 21 if you just want your demo to be available during the Next Fest public event.
  • If you plan on live streaming, test that you can do a livestream of your game, and schedule up to two Next Fest Livestream events to appear in the official schedule (scheduling tool will be available once registration has closed). Here are the steps for streaming a Demo on Steam: Broadcasting a Game Demo to the Steam Store.
  • Tell your fans that you'll be participating in the festival!

During the Festival (starts at 10am Pacific on Feb 21)

  • Release your demo if you haven't already
  • Promote your participation on social media and encourage fans to give your demo a try
  • Check your Community Hub and other social channels for feedback on your demo
  • Run your livestream if you had planned one or two

Creating and releasing a playable demo (required)

Steam Next Fest is built around the concept of giving players a chance to get hands-on with a playable demo of your game. On Steam, that means setting up a specific demo type app, which is attached to your full game on Steam. To learn about creating, testing, and releasing a demo, please see Demos Documentation.

Livestreaming Events (optional)

During the festival, you have the opportunity to livestream your game so that potential players can see what it's like to play your game and to interact with the developers behind the game.

You can create up to two special Next Fest Livestream events to have your game listed in the livestreaming schedule and for Steam to promote your livestream to players. While all active livestreams will always be available at any time for players to browse, during your scheduled time your livestream will be featured more prominently.

Read more about scheduling live streams

Trailer Usage

For the promotion of Next Fest, we select 10-20 games to feature in one or more video trailers that we share with press, post to social media, and feature on the homepage of Steam.

If you selected the option during registration to give us permission, then we might use your game's trailer. If we use your game's trailer, we'll make use of one that is set publicly visible on your store page as of January 5th, 2022.

Press Preview Event Details (Starts Feb. 10)

We’ll be offering select press outlets the opportunity to explore the participating games starting 10 days ahead of the Next Fest (Thurs, Feb 10 at 10am Pacific). The press preview page will give these outlets a chance to explore the participating games and browse by genre, theme, style, etc. and learn about your games through the store pages that you already have up. This will give press outlets a chance to see what is coming up, play any of the demos that are already available, and reach out if they’d like to learn more about your game ahead of the festival.

Here are a couple of things to know about the press event:
  • Press will be free to write about the included games at any time. Some may want to give players a preview of games they are excited about ahead of time.
  • If you'd like your demo to be accessible by the press during this event, please simply prepare and release your demo on or ahead of the press event start on Feb 10th. Make sure you plan for 3-5 days for your demo build to be reviewed ahead of release.
  • This Press Preview will be conducted with a set of press outlets that we are specifically contacting for this purpose.

Visibility of Games

Games are organized within the Steam Next Fest page based on the categories you select when you register and based on the tags you have applied to your base game's store page.
A developer preview page will be available in January so you can see how the festival will be organized and where your game is positioned within the festival. If you have issues with your game showing up on the Next Fest page, there are a few things you can check to determine the cause:
  1. Ensure that your base game is properly registered for the festival and that you've selected two categories for your game on the registration form. You can also visit your game's Next Fest registration page to see a list of the categories and sections that your game is listed in.
  2. Make sure you have released your game demo before the start of the festival at 10am Pacific time. Only games with released demos will be eligible to appear on the festival pages.
  3. Make sure the store tags applied to your base game are accurate and complete. You may want to compare your store page tags with the categories and sub-categories listed within the Next Fest developer preview page and make any changes to your tags if necessary. For example, if you believe your game should be appearing in "Point-and-click adventure" games section, make sure that you've selected the "Adventure" category on the registration form and make sure your base game has the tag "Point-and-click" applied to it.

Asset Kit

Here you can download a kit of images and templates to use in your own social media channels when telling your fans about your participation in Steam Next Fest. These images are designed to fit well with various social media channels and you are welcome to use these assets any time you are ready to let players know that you'll be part of Steam Next Fest.


Download here:

Important Dates

  • Nov 17 - Join us on Zoom between 10am and 11am Pacific time if you have registration questions
  • Dec 1 - Recommended date by which you should have your base game's store page submitted for review
  • Dec 6 - Steam Next Fest Registration Deadline (23:59 PST)
  • Jan 19 - Join us on Zoom between 10am and 11am Pacific time if you have questions about preparing to participate
  • Jan 21 - Deadline to cancel registration if you don't want your game used in a promotional trailer
  • Feb 4 - Recommended date by which you should have demo build and store assets submitted for review if you wish to release your demo for the press preview
  • Feb 10 - Press preview starts
  • Feb 21 - Set your demo live by 10am Pacific time

Frequently Asked Questions

On November 17th, members of the Steam Business team held a live Q&A session for developers to ask questions about registering for and getting the most out of Steam Next Fest. Here is a recording of that session:

On January 19th, members of the Steam Business team held a live Q&A session for developers to ask questions about participating in and getting the most out of Steam Next Fest. Here is a recording of that session:

Q: Are Early Access games eligible to participate in the Steam Next Fest?
A: Only games that have not released a playable build yet are eligible. If your game is already released and available in Steam Early Access by the start of the festival, then your game is not eligible to participate in the Steam Next Fest.

Q: Why isn't my game listed as eligible to be registered?
A: Some common issues that may prevent you from registering are:
  • Ensure that the release date for your game is set on your app landing page between Feb 28, 2022 and Sept 1, 2022.
  • Ensure that the store page for your game is set visible as 'coming soon'
  • If you are a member of multiple Steamworks partners, make sure you have the correct partner selected at the top of the Steamworks website.

Q. Are free games eligible to participate in the Steam Next Fest?
A. The Next Fest is built around the concept of displaying demos that are associated with a full game. So if you are making a game that you intend to be free in the future, you can still participate by creating and releasing a demo. As with any game, you would still register your base full game for the Next Fest.

Q: Do I need to have my game and store page reviewed in order to register?
A: Yes, your base game's store page must be publicly visible in order to complete registration. The Valve curation team looks at each store page, including any screenshots, trailers, and description in order to determine which games we will be highlighting during the festival.

Q. What if I end up releasing my game before or during the Next Fest?
A. Only unreleased games are eligible to participate in the Next Fest. If you release your game prior to or during the Next Fest, your game will become ineligible and will not be included in the festival pages.

Q. I've changed my plans. How do I cancel my registration?
A. Just return to the registration page for your game by inserting your appID at the end of this URL and deselect the checkbox at the very bottom of the page to remove your game from the festival. After opting out, if you have not released your game prior to a future Next Fest, you could participate in that one assuming the rest of the eligibility requirements were met.

Q. How will my game be categorized within the Steam Next Fest pages?
A. When you register your game for the Steam Next Fest you will be asked to choose the two primary categories that best fit your game. These categories determine which tabs your game can appear within the fest. Then, within each tab, the fest is broken down into sub-genres. Your game can appear in one or more of these sub-genres based on the store tags applied to your base game. For more information on tags, please see Store Tags documentation.

Q. How do I schedule a livestream to show up in the Next Fest?
A. The scheduling tool will become available in late December, shortly after registration closes. Once available, you will be able to create up to 2 special Next Fest Livestream events within the Steam Events & Announcements tool - the same place that you go to post announcements and schedule other forms of events for your game.

Q. Can I submit a different version or edition of my game that already participated in a previous Next Fest?
A. You may submit a different edition or version of your game as long as the 365 day cooldown for your original submission has passed. If the cooldown has not passed, your submission may be rejected.

Q. Can I submit a re-release of an existing Steam game?
A. Steam Next Fest is intended for new games that have never been playable on Steam before. If you are releasing a new edition of an existing game, then your game is not eligible for Steam Next Fest.

Q. How do I set up a livestream for my VR game?
A. Because of the way the SteamVR.exe service interacts with broadcasting, you will need to use an external tool (such as OBS). That will give you the necessary control to configure your broadcast, and let you point Steam directly at your game appID rather than SteamVR.exe. For more details, please see Setting Up A Stream

Q. Do I need to release my demo for the Press Preview?
A. No, you can wait and release your demo on the 21st if you wish. Releasing on Feb 10th will allow your demo to be playable for press participating in the Press Preview, but isn't necessary. Your game will still be listed on the Press Preview page either way.

Q. Won't I miss some launch excitement if I release my demo early for the Press Preview?
A. Demos don't have the same level of launch visibility as a full game, so it shouldn't be very disruptive to release a demo ahead of Next Fest. But, we also can't guarantee that any press will play your demo. It's up to you and whether you feel you are ready or not.

Contact / Help

If you've still got questions, please reach out to us through the Developer Support tool and someone from the Steam team will get back to you: