Steam Now Requires Devs To Show Only In-Game Screenshots On Store Page
(Last Updated On: November 1, 2016)

Valve has apparently sent out word to developers to start to update their store page listings on Steam to remove concept art, cinematic stills or images of the game that are not actually representative of the in-game play.

DSO Gaming spotted the news from a forum thread on Facepunch Studios where they snapped an image of developer Steam group update that Valve sent out indicating that the change is to take place effectively immediately, and they used Dota 2 as an example of how not to advertise your game on the Steam store. Valve promptly switched out the images on the store page of Dota 2.

You can see an example of how the store page looked on October 23rd, 2016 where all the screenshots for Dota 2 were concept art and promotional art and you can see how it looks as of November 1st, 2016, following the announcement.

According to the post that they link to in the Face Punch thread, Valve states…

“We ask that any images you upload to the ‘screenshot’ section of your stoe page should be screenshots that show your game. This means avoiding using concept art, pre-rendered cinematic stills, or images that contain awards, marketing copy, or written product descriptions. Please show customers what your game is actually like to play.”

Valve also wants devs to properly mark all gore, sexual content, nudity and other potentially adult material with a check that indicates it may/may not be appropriate for everyone.

Valve keeps it stern and right down the middle, letting developers know that they cater to a global audience and not everyone in every region is the same, or has the same values. They note that some people may be okay with big titties and dangling schlongs but other people may not, just the same as some people may be okay with intestines hanging out of flayed flesh and eyeballs popping out of a skull like Glenn on The Walking Dead, but other people may not. Valve calls for devs to use the checkbox so that they know what images from the game to show on the front page and which ones to avoid.

In the post, Valve states…

“This action is crucial if your game has a 17+ age-gate applied, or is marked as containing mature content. If your game doesn’t meet that criteria, this action is not required. But setting this option will tell Steam to prefer showing those selected screenshots in some places.”

Ultimately, these are some good changes that works with Valve’s new “discovery” update for Steam. I also wonder if this is Valve’s way of side-stepping the Advertising Standards Agency’s investigation into No Man’s Sky Steam page, where they were looking into how the promotional images were displayed on the page and if they properly reflected what the game was like? I suppose we’ll have to wait for the ASA to finish their investigation to find out.

In the meantime, the new discovery update and the new rule for the in-game screenshots arrives just in time for Steam’s upcoming holiday sales event(s).

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Blake

    Wtf companies are supposed to be anti consumer I dont even

  • Mr Snow

    Seriously… What the fuck. What is going on with Steam that they are trying to support the consumer so much? Because very few other companies are.

    Just used to getting the shaft so much, I don’t know what to do when a company is this nice XD

    • It’s kind of baffling, I know. Takes you back a bit and makes you appreciate the work they do.

      In a sea of monsters, bliss is the isle made by Valve.

  • Alistair

    There need a bit more info, on more adult stuff like nudity and stuff. Yes they need to spell that out. By a check list.

    But it sound to me they not allow to put nudity in screenshots. Of what you said billy.

    “Value calls for Devs to use the Checkbox So that they know What Images from the game to show on the front page and which ones to avoid”

    That i Don’t Like. it censorship how you suppose to intice gamers to buy your game If you cant let people see the fan service part of the game.

    Lets not kid ourselves, games shows Fast cars people buy that, games shows extreme violence people buy that too.

    And people see fan service in games people buy that too. Description isnt enough with-out sceenshots.

  • Mandemon

    I approve this move heartily.

  • Alistair

    It been a good day of news, from this to SPJ president saying it unethical to attack other people. And heat street not forgetting that.

    This from Steam i approved, Why What bring out the ASA in UK when are They involved.

    They only get involved if they see misleadind Ads that could be screenshots the description on the storefront etc etc. Basically anything that the consumer buys is monitor by them.

    You could buy a game knowing “hey that look good” and market as such, only discover it not the same as shown. 🙁

    The question is how the Devs are gonna response to this order. But if the screenshots are reflected what in game Devs need not to worry about the ASA.

  • C G Saturation

    About time. Should have been a rule to begin with.

    • Sevuz

      I agree. Now we just need to make it mandatory that E3 trailers ain’t fake 80% of the time.

      • Black Magic

        in e3s defense, most of the big announcements made there are games that have release dates 2-3 years down the line, so proper representation of the final product is either gonna look like its supposed to be played on an n64 or will be plain impossible to create because they’re only halfway done building the engine (or whatever)

        • Sevuz

          Well as many have said, they should wait until the game is a year or a few months away. Games don’t benefit much from a 2-3 years hype train unless the publisher pumps money out none stop. Even then it’s not at guarantee it will do it any good for the game.

          Many of the E3 trailers promise WAY to much to begin with. They are either showing off a High end PC build version or pre rendered videos (Ubisoft, Sony, MS, WB, EA). People who are buying into the E3 hype train BS are the same brainless zombies who don’t see that most AAA publishers are screwing them over with DLC and season pass xD

      • Mr Snow

        Oh those trailers are real, they just run them on PS4’s with 60gb DDR Ram and Nvidia Titan 9000 GTO Omega models.

        It’s our fault for not having PS4’s with those specs.