Today’s change might not be as welcomed, as Valve has removed the comprehensive list of games, movies, DLC, and Rocksmith songs from Steam’s front page. The list still exists, but users must first click on the “New Releases” button below the Popular New Releases List in order to reach the dedicated New Releases page. Then, after scrolling through another page of recommendations, you have to tab over to the full new releases list and then press the All New Releases button, something you could have done from the front page yesterday.
It could be argued that the new releases list has been on its way out for a while. Discovery 2.0 placed a huge focus on algorithmic recommendations, and the store’s release pipeline had become crowded beyond belief even before that. Once upon a time, games on the new releases list saw a huge boost in both notability and sales, with games staying on the front page for a few days at a time. Now, that launch boost had all but evaporated, and this change will ensure that trend continues at the very least.
For now, readers who are looking to roll back Valve’s changes have one option. Browser extension Enhanced Steam retains the new releases list as it was for now alongside a lot list of other useful features to toggle on and off. It’d be better if users didn’t have to install third party software for this basic functionality, but at least it exists. If you’d rather just get a hard list of new releases without all of Steam’s fancy new toys, you can check sites like TodayOnSteam and the new “Recent Games” tab on Steam Spy’s frontpage.
TechRaptor has reached out to Valve for comments on this change and we will update this story if any response is received.
I can certainly see Valve’s reasoning for making this change, if only from a cold and logical standpoint. As I joked above, the new releases list was crowded and barely useful, but it still existed, and hundreds of people at least had the opportunity to see each new game as it appeared. Now, there will be games that never hit the front page at all, further hiding all but the most popular and trendy releases. Maybe that’s what Valve wants, but their moves towards a more open market and the death of Greenlight pulls them in a completely different direction. Whatever Valve’s plans are, it’s clear now more than ever that landing on Steam is now only just a single step in a long path to success for smaller indie titles.