Depending on your product and the timing of your release, there are 3 different store visibility options you can choose from when clicking "Release App".
Once you have your checklist complete, you'll need to hit the "Mark As Ready For Review" button in the top section of your product landing page. This will make your product visible to Valve for review and approval prior to release. Please note that this can take some time, so it's recommended that you do it well in advance of when you want your store page visible to the public. For more information please see Review Process
After your store page has been approved, the controls will say "Approved For Release". Click "Post As Coming Soon" to view options and to make your page live for customers. There is no option on your store page for customers to purchase or play your game at this stage.
This will make your store page and community hub visible to customers and listed as upcoming, with whatever release date you set. This is a great way to start building an audience and providing customers the ability to add your game to their wishlist in anticipation of your launch.
You must have a Coming Soon page up on Steam for at least two weeks before you can release your product.
For more information, please see complete Coming Soon
If your title is marked as Early Access (See Early Access Documentation
), then the controls to release your game will say "Release as Early Access". Click that button to proceed and view release details before confirming.
Selecting "Publish Now" from the subsequent options will kick off your release as an Early Access product. Please note that you will still need to have a Coming Soon page up for at least two weeks before your product will be playable on Steam. To learn more about visibility at launch, please see Visibility on Steam
Once your title has released as Early Access, the controls on your landing page will switch to allowing you to transition from Early Access to full release, which you should only do after you've iterated in Early Access and are ready for your product to appear as a fully-released product.
If your title is approved for full release, then the controls will say "Approved For Release". Click "Release App" to proceed and view release details before confirming.
Selecting "Publish Now" from the subsequent options will kick off your full release and will make your product immediately playable for customers. Your title will then appear in the store as fully released. To learn more about visibility at launch, please see Visibility on Steam
Pre-Purchases are not a self-served feature and will need to be set up by Valve. We normally don't recommend pre-purchase launches since spreading out sales across a few weeks during a pre-purchase can make it difficult for your game to have a successful launch day on Steam. We also don't run pre-purchases with partners we haven't worked with in the past.