Valve will not allow prizes and reviews on Steam store images starting in September

Valve is making a major change in the way developers can market their games on Steam. From September 1, developers of graphic assets used by graphic asset developers in their store listings will only be able to include game artwork, the name of the game, and any official subtitle. Images will not be able to include review results, award names, logos, text promoting discounts, or text promoting a different product.

The new rules may be a drastic shift for some developers, as they may rely on reviews or awards for their images in an effort to stand out from the huge number of games available on Steam. Even some popular game developers will have to make changes – while writing this article, I saw promotional images of Hades And the take two on Steam which featured awards.

Here’s Valve’s reason for the changes, from a blog post:

Our goal is to make it as straightforward as possible for customers to find games to buy and play on Steam. Recently, we’ve noticed more text, award logos, and even review results being included by game developers in their graphic asset images. This made us realize that our guidelines were not as clear as they should be. As a result of the lack of clearly defined rules, we’ve seen additions to graphic assets that create a confusing and sometimes inaccurate experience for customers.

For example, some of the games logos themselves have become so small that it is difficult for players to figure out the name of the game. In other cases, graphic asset images are full of bonus logos and ratings that are distracting and hard to read. Some capsules include review results that are no longer accurate. We also see that in most cases this extra text about the assets is only served in English, alienating much of the non-English speaking Steam audience.

Valve argues that review quotes, scores, and awards have designated places on Steam store pages where developers can still include this information. But you might not see those if you’re browsing through Steam looking for something new to play.

These awards must be removed from take two picture.
Shot by Jay Peters/The Edge

Valve does not completely prohibit text on Assets; You can still include the game title or game subtitle, and in one example in the blog post, the company encourages the use of text in artwork to promote an update or new content for your game. But any text you include must be translated into the languages ​​your game supports. You can read the full Valve documentation here.

This isn’t the first time Valve has placed a mandate that has major implications for developers. In 2018, after some controversy over which games should and should not be allowed on Steam, Valve said it would allow “everything” in the Store except for “things that we determine are illegal or outright phishing.” Since then, Valve has also banned blockchain games and NFTs. But the company has refined its recommendations to help you see smaller titles you might like, which could help you see something new while looking for your next game.

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