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I've purchased a game on Steam and pre-loaded it so that I can play it on the release date. What I want to know is what time can I play my pre-loaded games?

Is it at:

  • Midnight (User's time.)
  • Midnight (Somewhere else. i.e. Some specific timezone)
  • Some set time (If so, is it always the same or different for each game?)
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up vote 14 down vote accepted

This depends on a whole lot of factors. The unlock time differs based on the game, the region you're in and even who you are.

For example, Deus Ex: Human Revolution unlocks August 23, 2011 in the US, August 25, 2011 in Australia, August 26, 2011 in Europe and September 8, 2011 in Japan. This will also mean that it is usually midnight at those dates in those regions.

Also notable, Portal 2 unlocked earlier for some users than others, namely those who got a Golden Potato. (Approximately 9 hours earlier.)

However, you can always just check the store page on Steam. It will have a bar showing when it will unlock. For example, for me the page for Deus Ex shows this:

This game will unlock in approximately 2 days and 2 hours

That's midnight on Thursday in my timezone.

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Thanks. That makes sense. – Richard Marskell - Drackir Aug 23 '11 at 16:41

It's per-game, and I would assume it's up to the publisher.

For example, going by the Steam pages' time estimates (for me in NA):

As Arda notes it may also be location-dependent.

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My guess is that it's probably a set time in a specific time zone (like 10 PM PST, 17 GMT, 18 CET, etc.).

Not sure if this'll help at all, but doesn't it say when It'll approximately unlock? weeks/days/hours?

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Thanks. I didn't actually notice that Steam showed when it was available. – Richard Marskell - Drackir Aug 23 '11 at 16:42

As far as i noticed it is set to your computers time. I changed my password and after a week it said i could access the Steam market on 6/27/2015 10:33:27. I looked up my time on google( because my computer's time is off) and it was 12:13. My computer says it was 9:31 and at 10:33 i could go back to the market. So i don't know about pre releases and games and such but i do think it goes by your computer's time.

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This is extremely unlikely, since you're claiming anyone could play an unreleased game by changing their system time. – Studoku Jun 27 '15 at 17:09

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