Steam just made it HARDER to find new releases

In an apparent ongoing battle to hide every unknown new game released on Steam, overnight Valve have updated the Steam store to make it far, far harder to just see a list of new releases on the platform.

As we’ve discussed many times before, as recently as yesterday, unknown games have an incredibly hard time receiving any visibility in Steam’s crazed daily churn of 20 to 30 new releases. Big names, or those that see instant sales, get promoted to the big boxes on the front page, but smaller games are relegated to a hidden list that just became a whole lot more hidden.

Valve’s ardent belief is that customers don’t want to see what’s available, they want algorithms to curate a bespoke store for them, showing only what the maths thinks they’ll like. That’s a system that a) needs a working algorithm, and Steam’s is wonky as all hell, and b) ensures people only ever see more of the same. While I’ve certainly seen games I’m interested in on my Recommended list (amongst its batshit belief that I care about visual novels and sodding H1Z1), it definitely hasn’t listed any of the tiny little games I’ve cared about the most. Games that stand no chance on the store as it is now.

And hell, either way, why not just allow both?

Previously in Steam’s most recent incarnation, if you wanted to know what new games had been released that day, you had to scroll two screens down on the front page to the “Popular New Releases” list. Again, this excluded anything that wasn’t already selling, but there was a tiny text button beneath that said, “See All New Releases”. Click on that, and then check the tick box next to “Games” in the right column to remove the films, apps and mostly DLC that dominate the list (if you think I’m exaggerating, check the screens below), and you would finally get to see that day’s new games. (Until you click on one, click back, and one of Steam’s many bugs would see the list changed to one from days ago.) But now that comparable convenience has been taken into a back alley and kicked to death.

Now the process is this:

Scroll two screens down on the front page to the buried list of Popular New Releases (or guess which of the text links marked “New Releases” is actually real)

Click on “See more: New Releases”

Scroll a full screen down to see a list of “Popular New Releases”

Click the tab for “New Releases”

Scroll down and click on “See more: All New Releases”

Tick the “Games” tab on the right side to remove the DLC, apps, films, etc

And finally you can see what’s there

It’s impossible to know if this recent change is deliberate design to prevent people finding games, inept randomness, contempt, or what, but it utterly beggars belief that an already ghastly design has been made so stunningly worse. This sucks for developers, but it deeply sucks for consumers too – there are great games getting released that you would LOVE to know and pay for, but you just won’t ever hear about them.

Something as simple and obvious as, “Here’s a list of new games released today” should be a whacking great button right on the top of the front of the store, but it’s now buried deep beneath where it was previously already buried, a labyrinthine route to get something so plainly obviously necessary. That they should have gone out of their way to make this so much more difficult is demonstrative that something is deeply wrong with the thinking of how the store works, and increasingly a bad place for developers to release their games when rivals like Itch.io, Humble and GOG do a far fairer job.

Valve, please, for goodness sakes just give us a direct link to the All New Releases from the top of the front page. Give small developers a fighting chance, and keen customers the place to find the games they want.

161 Comments

  1. oceanswave says:

    Or you can just bookmark this page.

    link to store.steampowered.com

    Like steam kicked your dog or something sheesh.

  2. Stardog says:

    Are you some kind of not real PC gamer browsing on a phone/netbook/console or some other shit I scrape from my shoe?

    Real gamers will see a massive sidebar down the left hand side of the screen with New Releases listed as a section. It disappears at lower than 1000 pixels or so.

  3. Greg says:

    I’ve gone through 10,000+ games in my steam review queue. I check it daily and the majority of stuff I see is utter crap. The only thing I could really get behind is the “negative” review process. Leave a “not enough reviews” for the game, once 25 reviews have been received publish the findings on the store page and let them speak for themselves. It’s not an easy process trying to find that one game. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. The last thing I want is bigger haystacks.

  4. tslog says:

    Could I also added relying on gamer reviews is another disaster altogether.

    I’ve seen garbage trash fires of games been given an overall positive or even overwhelmingly positive reviews on the Steam Store.

    So many Gamers are the most bias douches. Completely unreliable and untrustworthy.

    I would even say that steam curators is a little better but still not even good. Btw, Why is that still missing from the store.

    I personally have reviewed over 800 games and I’ve never, EVER, given more than an 8.7/10.

  5. Zhiroc says:

    Personally, I can’t say I’ve ever been terribly interested in new releases, and that’s even generally true of AAA games. I’d rather wait a year and get them for $15 or less.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Benratha says:

    Now just need a WIT on “Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?!”….
    And possibly Fairy Fencer…

  7. Jezebeau says:

    I suppose you could give a negative review to every game it shows you in a genre you’d like to see less of, whether you’ve played it or not. Use the tools you have, right?

  8. DeusVult says:

    HEY John guess what, The only reason i come to the website is to discover games i may have missed on steam. I would have never found Might Magic Showdown which i love and have sunken over 40 hours into. Thanks to RPS i discovered this little gem. If steam starts making it easier for me to find and search for games i might stop coming here, Im sure there are others like myself as well. Just some food for thought Johhny boy…..

  9. ZeroWaitState says:

    Steam most likely has the same problem Amazon has: sellers have figured out how to game the system by playing Tetris with the search results. So, to choke the oxygen out of competitors, they fill results pages with hundreds and hundreds of drek products purely for the purpose of consuming space in the list and making quality products undiscoverable. Valve seems to be trying to address it now (I think with a deposit of some sort?)

  10. EpicGamerWorld says:

    This is very depressing news.

    My game was greenlit 6 months ago and I’ve dedicated around 12-16 hours a day working on it. I did this because they guaranteed you a million views on your game then like 250,000 for 5 updates.

    Now you aren’t guaranteed any views. It doesn’t matter how amazing my game is, no-one will find it if I don’t get huge websites or youtubers to feature it.

    My marketing budget is $0. I’m very disappointed because the million views I was promised is now gone without warning.

  11. kmsz says:

    If anyone knows how to browse all early access titles on steam let me know.

  12. tomerbarkan says:

    I kinda like the new “new releases” portal more than just seeing a long list…

    Also, there’s a second Discovery Queue now, that only shows new releases (tailored to your preferences), which is quite nice! link to store.steampowered.com