Why Isn’t Shadow of War Featured on Steam?

Middle-Earth Shadow of War

Last night, I decided to pick up the Gold edition of Middle Earth: Shadow of War on Steam. To my surprise, I couldn’t find it listed anywhere that you’d expect a new game to show up. In fact, the only way I could find it was through a search and, even then, it wasn’t available for purchase. I managed to secure a copy through a third-party retailer and all was well, but it was odd just the same.

After having several friends check Steam to verify that they couldn’t buy the game either, I tried using Steam through my browser. I even dusted off the Steam app on my iPhone 7 Plus, but that too was missing the options to buy any of the editions offered. Looking at the Shadow of War forums on Steam, there were dozens of others having the same issue.

Shadow of War Hidden on Steam
Gorgoroth CombatWB Games • Licensed by Owner

I managed to install and play Middle Earth: Shadow of War last night. There were no game breaking bugs or glitches to note. The game ran fine in 1440p at 60 frames per second. Even with the 4K Cinematic Pack and High-Resolution Texture Pack, nothing caught on fire or melted. The game plays well on PC.

Today is the launch day for Middle Earth: Shadow of War. The game has been receiving great reviews. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor was a giant hit, too. This all combines to confuse me even more. This is a well-received series that ought to have some hype behind it but, even today, you can’t find Shadow of War listed anywhere prominent on Steam. You’d expect it to be in the Featured and Recommended section, but nope. It’s also not under New and Trending, although the Expansion Pass sits in the second spot.

Why was the option to buy Middle Earth: Shadow of War removed from Steam the day before it was set to launch? Why isn’t the game featured on Steam? It’s all circumstantial evidence, but where there’s smoke there’s usually fire, and there’s a bit of smoke around Shadow of War’s launch on Steam.