Steamworks Documentation
Release Dates
Your upcoming game's release date in Steamworks serves two purposes: to tell players when they might expect your game, and to list your game on upcoming releases lists. How these dates appear can be customized within a set of options built into Steam.


Setting Your Game's Release Date

The release date can be set from your game's landing page in Steamworks. On the right-hand side of the page, you'll see a section called "Specified release date". Click the edit icon there to update your release date settings.

Player-Facing Date Display

You'll need to set an exact intended release date, which is not directly visible to players. Separately, you can specify your desired store display from five options-- with the freedom to adjust between those options as you see fit prior to release.

  • The exact date. “Aug 24, 2023”
  • Month-and-year. “August 2023”
  • The quarter of the calendar year. “Q3 2023”
  • The year. "2023"
  • No date at all. “Coming Soon”

And for each of those options, customers will see a localized and regionally-familiar presentation.


How Release Date Impacts Position In Lists

Each of these display formats can impact where your game appears in lists of upcoming games, as we don’t want to give away the exact date you have set in the backend. So, for each option of presentation, we’ll list the game at the last possible date of that time range.

For example, if you choose “Month-and-year”, then your game will appear in sorted lists as though you had selected the last day of the month. If you choose to display the quarter, then we’ll list your game on the last day of the quarter. And if you choose to not display any date at all, then your game will appear on lists behind all other games that have more specific date displays set.

If you're confused or anxious about this and you want advice about your release date display, no worries: you can contact us any time for guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to set a specific release date?
A: Yes, you will specify a specific intended release date, which is helpful for us to understand roughly when games intend to release even if you choose not to share that exact date with customers. We'll also use that calendar date to generate messages (like inviting you to participate in Steam Next Fest, or reminding you to submit your build for review prior to release!).

Q: Can I change the release date of my game?
A: You can change the release date of your game up to two weeks prior to your specified date. Once you are within that two week window, your game will start showing up more in ‘upcoming releases’ lists. Once this visibility starts, you can no longer adjust your release date. We send a reminder in advance of this cutoff so that you can adjust your date as you see fit.

Q: Why should I bother setting expectations about my release date?
A: For one thing, a bunch of press, media, streamers, etc, are interested in talking to their audiences about upcoming titles and it's useful for them to know if a game comes out next week, or next year. There are also a lot of storefront features and tools on Steam that a game can benefit from as it builds awareness prior to launch:
  • Visibility on lists and pages such as Popular Upcoming depend on release date.
  • Players that are interested in your game will add it to their Steam Wishlist to be notified upon release.
  • Some Steam events such as Steam Next Fest are only available for unreleased games.

Q. Can I release my game on a weekend?
Yes, you can release on a weekend but we generally don't recommend it. The date-picker in Steamworks intentionally hides weekends as a date you can select ahead of time to target as your release date, since the Steam Team is unavailable to assist with any issues that might arise. However, as long as your game has been reviewed and is ready for release, the release button will be available and let you proceed to release during a weekend if you really wish to do so.

Q: Where can I learn more about release dates and coming soon mode on Steam?
A: The full documentation can be found here.