Yesterday, Valve released an update for developers selling in their storefront. From September 1 of this year, it will be referred to as “poster pictures”Capsules” It will be restricted to include various accolades, current sales, and more on Steamworks. In the announcement of the policy change, Gordon Freeman’s house states that the previous rules were not well defined enough.
Banner images are the equivalent of the cover image on Steam. They’re what you see on in-store listings, and are usually designed to grab your attention as quickly as possible: This usually means fancy art, a leading main character, and a title in large, stylized letters. But it’s also been a place where developers cite current sales, list rave reviews, showcase rewards the game may have won, or simply let you know when there’s new DLC or a seasonal update. But from September 1, developers will be allowed to indicate major updates, but will be prohibited from displaying numbers or other text not directly related to the game.
Lid Shared news about changes to be made in an announcement on steamcommunity.com. The post, titled “New Rules for Graphics Asset Pods,” details the company’s desire to “make things as clear and straightforward as possible for customers to find games to buy and play on Steam.” For them, this does not include high review scores, award names, listing symbols or logos, and certainly no discount marketing copy.
Content in core graphical asset capsules on Steam is limited to game artwork, game name, and any official captions. For clarity, this means:
- No review scores, including Steam reviews or external news sources
- No award name, symbol or logo
- No sale marketing copy (e.g. no ‘On Sale’ or ‘up to 90% off’ text)
- No text or images promoting a different product. This does not include marketing sequels or other games within the same franchise.
- There are no other miscellaneous texts.
Images can be updated to notify customers of an update, such as a major DLC release or a seasonal update popular in live service games. However, there are some restrictions for this as well. The updates in question can only be released for a month using what Valve calls “Artwork Overrides”. In addition, the text, which should only be used to describe new content and nothing else, should be localized to the languages supported by the game.
For those who want to showcase high review scores, Valve says developers “Store Page Praises on Steamworks” documentation. These are the compliments you see on the game’s specific store page, usually on the right side of the page.
This rule change will likely help clear up some of the textual clutter that sometimes plagues Steam, but it remains to be seen how developers respond to the new guidelines and how strictly Valve will enforce them when they go into effect this September.