Steam’s Coming Soon system, as you may be able to guess from the name, is a section where games that are set to be released in the near future are displayed.
Some developers have been abusing this system by constantly changing their game’s release date, meaning that their game is always featured in the Coming Soon section even if the game’s actual release date isn’t for a long while yet.
u/HeadlessIvan went to change their game’s intended release date, only to be met with a popup that contained the following message:
Change your intended release date
Your intended release date is currently set as “Sep 19, 2019”. If you need to make changes to this date, please contact Valve here with the reason for your new release date and what date you’d like it set as. You should be pretty certain that your new date is the date you will release.
NOTE: The earliest possible release date you can select is “Aug 5, 2019”. You will be able to hit the release button at any point after this date, regardless of what your intended release date is set as.
Valve has since confirmed to PCGamesN that developers will indeed need to get in contact with Valve in order to change the release date of their games.
Developers can still press the button to release their game after the release date has passed (for example, setting the release date as September 20th but not actually publishing the game until October 5th) but the game will disappear from the Coming Soon section once the set date has passed.
Valve says it will also send reminders to developers 2 weeks before their intended release date to see if they’re still on track for a timely release.