Valve's latest Steam revamp changes the way the "Upcoming" games tab works on the front of the Steam Store, adding in a bit of algorithmic juice to tailor the list so that it highlights games with "strong pre-release interest."
This is potentially a huge deal for devs who release games on Steam, as Valve claims the goal is to adjust the list (now branded "Popular Upcoming") of upcoming releases based on Steam data (wishlists, etc.) so that games which seem notable are more likely to appear.
In a blog post published today the company explained the change and, anticipating dev concerns about their games pushed off the list of upcoming games for not being popular enough, claimed that "we've spent a lot of time looking at data about how folks find and buy games and are certain that isn't the case."
"A piece of data for you: the old Upcoming list was only clicked on by less than half of one percent of customers whereas Top Sellers is clicked on by almost four percent," reads an excerpt of the post. "It's clear to us that a brief (and sometimes very brief) spot on Steam's front page isn't useful if your game is shown to a random set of customers -- what's best for everyone is if your game is shown to the right customers, ones who have shown that they might like your game."
With that in mind, Steam customers can now also click through the front page to a full list of upcoming games that is algorithmically tailored to their interests, but can also be ordered to display a pure uninfluenced list. This is well in line with Valve's ongoing work to improve Steam's discoverability issues, work that seems more needed than ever when you consider that roughly 180 games are released on Steam every week.