Steam’s new rules are changing how games differ

Steam's new rules are changing how games differ
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Reward icons, discount announcements, and rating results clutter a Steam storefront in a Photoshopped image.

picture: Valve / Kotaku

Yesterday Valve released an update for developers selling on their storefront. Beginning September 1 of this year, “banner images” referred to as ““capsules” in Steamworks, is limited to include a variety of awards, recent sales, and more. In announcing the policy change, the House of Gordon Freeman notes that the previous rules were not defined well enough.

Banner images are the equivalent of cover art on Steam. They are what you see in the in-store offerings, and they’re usually designed to grab your attention as quickly as possible: that often means fancy art, a prominent protagonist, and the title in large, stylized letters. But it’s also been a place for developers to show recent sales, list rave reviews, show awards the game may have won, or just let you know there’s new DLC or a seasonal update coming. However, starting September 1, developers are allowed to indicate major updates, but are prohibited from displaying numbers or any other text not directly related to the game.

valves shared news about the upcoming changes in an announcement on The post, titled “New Rules for Graphic Asset Capsules,” describes the company’s desire to “make it as clear and straightforward as possible for customers to find games to buy and play on Steam.” For them, that doesn’t include listing high review scores, award names, symbols or logos, and absolutely no discount marketing copycats.

The content on Basic Capsules with Graphic Assets on Steam is limited to game graphics, the game name and all official subtitles. To clarify, this means:

  1. No rating results of any kind, including Steam ratings or external news sources
  1. No price names, symbols or logos
  2. No discount marketing copy (e.g. no “On Sale Now” or “Up to 90% off” text)
  3. No text or images promoting another product. This does not include the marketing of sequels or other titles from the same franchise.
  4. No other miscellaneous text.

Images may be updated to notify customers of an update, e.g. B. a major DLC release or a seasonal update popular with live service games. However, there are also some limitations here. These updates can only go live for a month using what Valve calls “Artwork Overrides”. In addition, the text – which must only be used to describe the new content and nothing else – must be localized into all languages ​​supported by the game.

For those who want to brag about high rating scores, Valve advises that developers should follow the rules outlined in the “Store Page Accolades documentation on Steamworks. These are the awards you see on a game’s specific store page, often on the right-hand side of the page.

This rule change will likely help clean up some of the text clutter that fills Steam at times, although it remains to be seen how developers will react to the new guidelines and how strictly Valve will enforce them when they go into effect this September.

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