Hopefully this puts a stop to studios that game the system to always appear on the first page of upcoming releases.
Steam upcoming releases

If you ever tried to look at the "all upcoming releases" section on Steam, you probably noticed that a lot of games appearing on the first couple of pages didn't actually have set release dates. A lot of them would appear to be vague windows of time that would, for whatever reason, still show up before games that actually had set releases planned in the coming days.

It was terrible browsing the all upcoming release section on Steam, leaving most people to stick to the "popular upcoming releases" only. Even then, some of these games with intentionally ambiguous release dates could often be found there. For consumers, it has not been a pleasant experience. It was equally aggravating for publishers and developers as this practice pushed games that were legitimately getting released off of the first couple of pages of upcoming releases. The system was being manipulated by a number of studios and something needed to be done about it.

Thankfully, Valve is doing something about it. PCGamesN noticed a Reddit post from a user named HeadlessIvan. HeadlessIvan told PCGamesN that they work for a publisher that handles indie games. This user posted an image on Reddit (seen above) that seems to say that Valve must now approve release date changes before they appear on Steam.

The message that now appears when attempting to change a release date on a title says the following:

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.
Back in March, Valve's Tom Giardino alluded to the fact that the company was working on some fix for this issue, but he never specified what that fix would be. At the time, the system was nothing more than a "work in progress."