Valve has banned misleading images from the ‘screenshot’ section of games on the Steam store.
In a very welcome more, Valve is now required developers to ensure that the ‘screenshots’ box on a Steam game is populated with actual game screenshots, rather than concept art or cinematic stills. This means it should be much easier to quickly work out the sort of gameplay you can expect from a title. Valve asks that developers begin adhering to the rules in time for the Discovery Update 2.0, which is “still a couple of weeks away”.
“When the ‘screenshot’ section of a store page is used for images other than screenshots that depict the game, it can make it harder for customers to understand what the product is that they are looking at,” Valve explains. “Additionally, we’re going to start showing game screenshots in more places…and these images need to be able to represent the game.”
It continues: “We ask that any images you upload to the ‘screenshot’ section of your store page should be screenshots that show your game. This means avoid using concept art, pre-rendered cinematic stills, or images that contain awards, marketing copy, or written product descriptions. Please show your customers what your game is actually like to play.”
Valve even admitted that it had been “doing it wrong ourselves” with Dota 2, and is now in the process of updating the Dota 2 screenshots section to show gameplay, rather than artwork.
Steam has also made it a requirement that screenshots be flagged as appropriate if they don’t contain any excessive gore, nudity, or sexual themes. There’s now a new checkbox available for developers, which can be ticked to indicate whether a screenshot is appropriate for a broad audience.
“Steam is a global marketplace, serving customers with a wide variety of personal tastes, preferences, and their own set of objections to different kinds of content,” the post reads. “For example, some users are more sensitive to nudity or sexual content. Other users are more sensitive to gore or excessive violence. Some users don’t care at all either way. We want to be able to respect all those tastes and objections.”
Valve recommends that developers choose at least four appropriate screenshots, and says it’s “crucial” that developers with 17+-rated games comply.
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What do you think of Valve’s new rules for Steam? Let us know in the comments.