Steamworks Documentation
Steam Next Fest: October 2022
NextFestOct22

Overview

Steam Next Fest returns October 3rd to October 10th, 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 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.

PLEASE NOTE: Communication about this event—including registration invitation and confirmation, access to preview how your demo will appear in the event, media permissions opt-in for trailer and/or livestream inclusion, etc.—takes place primarily through email. Reference Frequently Asked Questions to ensure your communication preferences are set to permit these communications, or for details on how to access key information if opted out.

Event Dates

Starts: Monday, October 3rd, 2022 @ 10am PDT (UTC-7)
Ends: Monday, October 10th, 2022 @ 10am PDT (UTC-7)

Table of contents

Registration Details

Registration Date

Registration must be completed by Thursday, July 21st, 2022 at 11:59pm PDT.

Eligibility

Steam Next Fest: October 2022 is open to upcoming games that 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 after the conclusion of the fest on October 10, 2022

*Please note that as of June 2022, new rules are in effect moving forward:
  • All upcoming games may participate with a playable demo in Steam Next Fest, regardless of release date.
  • A game may only appear once in Steam Next Fest. You can still choose the Steam Next Fest that works best for your release timeline, but once your demo participates in the event, it may not appear in any future Steam Next Fests.

To make accommodation for implementation of these new rules, this October 2022 edition is the last Steam Next Fest in which a game may participate in multiple Steam Next Fests (and only if it appeared in the October 2021 or earlier editions of Steam Next Fest per the previous eligibility rules).

Another edition is planned for February 2023, so please participate in the event that best suits the timing of your release plans.

Registration Process (Complete by July 21st, 2022)

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

  1. 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.
  2. Visit this URL to see all your games that qualify: https://partner.steamgames.com/optin/sale/nextfest_oct_2022 (note that 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).
  3. Verify that you've selected at least one category for your title in the Registration Checklist.
  4. 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 for review at least 3-5 business days ahead of your relevant deadline:
    • Submit for review no later than August 31st if you have been contacted regarding consideration for marketing materials inclusion.
    • Submit for review no later than September 19th if you plan to release your demo just prior to the Press Preview.
    • Submit for review no later than September 28th if you plan to release your demo just prior to festival start.
  • 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 September 22nd (or earlier) if you'd like your demo to be playable for press during the Press Preview.
    • Release on October 3rd if you just want your demo to be available during the Next Fest public event.
  • If you plan on livestreaming, 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 PDT on October 3rd)

  • Release your demo if you haven't already
  • Promote your participation on social media and encourage fans to give your demo a try (see asset kit below for some graphics you can use)
  • Check your Community Hub and other social channels for feedback on your demo
  • Run your livestream(s) if you had planned one or two

Preparing your 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.

Running a livestream (optional)

During the festival, you have the opportunity to livestream your game so potential players can see what it's like to play your game and can 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 have Steam 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 and Demo Gameplay Usage

For the promotion of Next Fest, our curation team selects 20-30 games to feature in our official livestream and one or more video trailers that we share with press, post to social media, and feature on the homepage of Steam.

NEW FOR THE OCTOBER 2022 EDITION: In order to remain in consideration for inclusion, you must:
  • Have selected the option during initial registration to give us permission.
  • Have received an additional opt-in request from Valve (early August) specifically indicating that your game is in consideration for inclusion in official marketing materials and have completed this opt-in.
  • Have at least one publicly visible trailer on your store page.
  • Have a playable build of your demo submitted for review and approved by September 2nd. This deadline is firm. You may continue to update your demo at any time and may publicly release your demo any time you choose prior to the festival start.

If you authorize trailer use and we use your game's trailer, we'll make use of one that is publicly visible on your store page as of September 2nd. If you authorize gameplay use, we may grant our Next Fest event team access to the demo using Release Override Steam keys anytime after September 2nd up until the event starts, and the team will decide whether to use the demo gameplay.

Press Preview Event Details (Starts September 22nd)

We’ll be offering select press outlets the opportunity to explore the full list of games registered for Steam Next Fest starting 10 days ahead (Thursday, September 22nd at 10am PDT) of the main event. The press preview page will give these outlets a chance to explore participating games and browse by genre, theme, style, etc. and learn about your game(s) through the store page(s) you already have up. This will allow press outlets to see what's coming up, play any of the demos that are already available, and reach out if they’d like to learn more about your game(s) ahead of the festival.

Here are a couple of things to know about the press event:
  • The press preview will include all games registered for Steam Next Fest. If you intend to withdraw from the event, please cancel your registration prior to the Press Preview.
  • Press will be free to cover the included games at any time, in any format (writeup, video, etc.). Some may want to give players a preview of games they're 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 preview event start on September 22nd. Make sure you plan for 3-5 days for your demo build to be reviewed ahead of release. Please note that releasing your demo will make it playable for everyone on Steam, not just press.
  • If you provided press contact information for your game on the Steam Next Fest registration form, we'll share that information with press in case they wish to get in contact with you.
  • 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 before the start of the event 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 Steam 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 one or two categories for your game on the registration form. You can also visit your game's Steam 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 PDT. 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 Steam 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 will be able to 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. The hashtag for the event is #SteamNextFest.

The Asset Kit is available here: NextFest_1022_AssetKit.zip

Important Dates

  • July 13 - Join us on Zoom 10 - 11am PDT if you have registration questions
  • July 15 - Recommended date by which you should have your base game's store page submitted for review
  • July 21 - Steam Next Fest Registration Deadline (11:59pm PDT)
  • August 24 - Join us on Zoom 10 - 11am PDT if you have questions about preparing to participate
  • August 31 - Recommended date by which you should have your demo build and store assets submitted for review if you wish to remain in consideration for inclusion in official marketing materials
  • September 2 - Deadline to have your demo build approved and ready for release if you wish to remain in consideration for inclusion in official marketing materials
  • September 19 - Recommended date by which you should have your demo build and store assets submitted for review if you wish to release your demo for the press preview
  • September 22 - Press preview starts
  • September 26 - Recommended date by which you should have your demo build and store assets submitted for review to release your demo for Steam Next Fest
  • October 3 - Set your demo live by 10am PDT

Frequently Asked Questions


Members of the Steam Business team have held a few live Q&A sessions for developers to ask questions about registering for and getting the most out of Steam Next Fest. Additional Q&A session recordings will be added here as available.

Here is a recording of the July 13, 2022 session:
https://youtu.be/A688IX8dgWI
Here is a recording of the May 11, 2022 session:
https://youtu.be/UHZgTmn9rr0
Previous session recordings are available in this YouTube playlist.


Q: Are Early Access games eligible to participate in 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 Steam Next Fest.

Q: Are games that have had or currently have a Playtest available eligible to participate in Steam Next Fest?
A: Playtest does not affect eligibility. However, we do not recommend having a Playtest live during Steam Next Fest, as this splits your players between the two opportunities versus concentrating them around Steam Next Fest during the limited window the event runs.

Q. Are free games eligible to participate in Steam Next Fest?
A. Steam Next Fest is built around the concept of displaying demos that are associated with a full game. So, if you're 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 Steam Next Fest.

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

Q. Can I submit a different version or edition of my game that already participated in a previous edition of Steam Next Fest?
A. You may not submit a different version or edition of a title that has previously participated in Steam Next Fest.

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: 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. Additionally, the Valve curation team looks at each store page, including any screenshots, trailers, and description to determine which games we will be highlighting during the festival.

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 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. How will my game be categorized within the Steam Next Fest pages?
A. When you register your game for Steam Next Fest, you will be asked to choose the one or two primary categories that best fit your game. These categories determine in 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 Steam Next Fest?
A. The scheduling tool will become available in late August, shortly after registration closes. Once available, you will be able to create up to two special Steam 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. 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 October 3rd if you wish. Releasing on or before September 22nd 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 Steam Next Fest. But, we also can't guarantee whether any press will or will not play your demo. It's up to you and whether you feel you are ready.

Q. How can I ensure I receive the relevant communications about Steam Next Fest?

In Steamworks:
  • If you are a member of multiple Steamworks partners, make sure you have the correct partner selected at the top of the Steamworks website.
  • Ensure you have at least one account with "Receive Steamworks communications" enabled. You can edit per user here: https://partner.steamgames.com/pub/users/ Note that accounts with this permission setting must also have completed or must newly complete the additional confirmation request sent via email authentication in order to fully enable permission.

In the Steam Store:

If you prefer to remain opted out of all communications, you may still participate in Steam Next Fest. However, the only indication of your eligibility for both the event overall and for the media permissions opt-in (if your game has been selected for potential inclusion in our official marketing materials as described above) will be via the options below. Make sure to insert your appID at the end of each URL.

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 https://partner.steamgames.com/optin/sale/nextfest_oct_2022/<appid> 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 Steam Next Fest, you could participate in that one assuming the rest of the eligibility requirements are met.

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.