Steam store introduces new image rules for game listings

Valve will be introducing a series of new rules that will affect how developers will be allowed to promote their games using banner image assets on the Steam store.

In a blog postthe company explains that a growing trend of text-heavy image thumbnails for games, as well as images with lots of award logos and review notes, has created an excessive amount of visual clutter on Steam.

Image: Valve

In an effort to make the store as readable and simple as possible for customers, Valve has chosen to establish several new guidelines. These will prohibit adding additional information to banner images.

This will make the store less “distracting” and “hard to read”, according to the company. Additionally, Valve also noted that some banner images included review notes that were “no longer accurate.” Finally, the company clarifies that the new measures are also in place so as not to isolate Steam customers who do not speak English.

These new rules will come into effect from September 1, 2022.

Read: How digital distribution and game prices are costing developers

Valve assures that the Steam store already has dedicated spots on individual game listings for developers to post accolades, favorable review ratings, and review quotes.

Currently, the image resource guidelines for rival Epic Game Store seem to only ask that text be minimized on images, to suit the needs of non-English speakers.

Here are the new Steam store image guidelines going forward, per valve:


Steam Store Graphics Asset Rules – September 2022

Store graphics are the banner images (called “Capsules” in Steamworks) that represent your game throughout the store. You can find detailed specifications and models in our Store graphics resource documentation.

  1. The contents of the Core Graphics Asset Capsules on Steam are limited to in-game artwork, the game name, and any official subtitles. For clarity, this means:
    1. No exam score of any kind, including Steam reviews or external information sources
    2. No Reward Namesymbols or logos
    3. No discounted marketing copy (e.g. no “On sale now” or “Up to 90% off” text)
    4. No text or image promoting a different product. This does not include the marketing of sequels or other titles in the same franchise.
    5. No other miscellaneous text.
  2. We understand that partners are excited to talk about important updates and seasonal events, and customers are often excited to see these reflected in game capsules. base capsule (see rule #1 above), we support this use case via capsule artwork overrides with the following constraints:
    1. Must use artwork overrides – When including text on a graphic element, it MUST be uploaded as an illustration replacement with a length limit of one month.
    2. Must localize all text – Any text included on a graphical element MUST be localized in at least the same set of languages ​​supported by the game.
    3. Only to describe the new content – The only acceptable additional text on a game capsule is words describing a major game content update, new seasonal event, Battle Pass, DLC, or similar new content for the game.

Steam Store Library Graphics Asset Rules – September 2022

Library graphics assets are the set of images that represent your game in the Steam library. These are composed of a vertical capsule, a hero image and a logo. You can find detailed specifications and models in our Documentation of library assets. Each of these assets has slightly different content and uses:

  1. Library capsule – this image must include your game’s logo. It can also include your game’s subtitle, if applicable. No other text should be present on this capsule.
  2. library heroes – this image should contain illustrations only. There must be no words in this element.
  3. library logo – this image is just your game logo on a transparent background. There must be no other words in this element.

Graphic Assets General Rules – September 2022

In addition to the specific rules above, all capsules on Steam must adhere to these basic rules:

  1. Capsule images must contain a legible logo/product name and have accurate dimensions.
  2. All capsule images (store and library) must have proper PG-13 artwork.

Example

What is the appropriate use of text on store caps? Tastefully promoting your recent update or new content is acceptable on store capsules, as long as you use a temporary artwork replacement to do so and localize the text into languages ​​supported by your game. See rules above for details.

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