Valve will be introducing a series of new rules that will affect the way developers will be allowed to promote their games using banner image assets on the Steam store.
In a blog post, the company explains that a growing trend of text-heavy image thumbnails for games, as well as images that include numerous award logos and review scores, has created an excessive amount of visual clutter on Steam.
In an effort to make the store as readable and straightforward for customers as possible, Valve has opted to instate several new guidelines. These will forbid 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 were including review scores that were ‘no longer accurate.’ Finally, the company states that the new measures are also in place so as not to isolate the Steam customer base that doesn’t speak English.
These new rules will come into effect beginning 1 September 2022.
Valve assures that the Steam store already has dedicated spots on individual game listings for developers to display any accolades, favourable review scores, and review quotes.
Currently, the image asset guidelines for the rival Epic Game Store seem to only request that text is minimised on images, to cater to non-English speakers.
Here are the new Steam store image guidelines moving forward, per Valve:
Steam Store Graphical Asset Rules – September 2022
Store graphical assets are the banner images (called ‘Capsules’ in Steamworks) that represent your game throughout the store. You can find detailed specifications and templates in our Store Graphical Assets documentation.
- Content on base graphical asset capsules on Steam is limited to game artwork, the game name, and any official subtitle. For clarity, this means:
- No review scores of any kind, including Steam reviews or external news sources
- No award names, symbols, or logos
- No discount marketing copy (eg. no “On Sale Now” or “Up to 90% off” text)
- No text or imagery promoting a different product. This includes no marketing of sequels or other titles in the same franchise.
- No other miscellaneous text.
- We understand that partners are excited to talk about large updates and seasonal events, and customers are often excited to see these reflected in the game capsules. While this content is not allowed in base capsule assets (see rule #1 above), we do support this use case through Capsule Artwork Overrides with the following constraints:
- Must use Artwork Overrides – When including text on a graphical asset, this MUST be uploaded as an Artwork Override with a length limit of one month.
- Must localize any text – Any text included on a graphical asset MUST be localized into at least the same set of languages supported by the game.
- Only to describe new content – The only acceptable additional text on a game capsule is words describing a major update to the game content, a new seasonal event, battle pass, DLC, or similar new content for the game.
Steam Store Library Graphical Asset Rules – September 2022
Library graphical assets are the set of images that represent your game within the Steam library. These are comprised of a vertical capsule, a hero image and a logo. You can find detailed specifications and templates in our Library Assets documentation. Each of these assets has slightly different content and uses:
- Library Capsule – this image must include your game logo. It can also include your game’s subtitle if appropriate. No other text should be present on this capsule.
- Library Hero – this image should only contain artwork. There should be no words at all in this asset.
- Library Logo – this image is only your game’s logo on a transparent background. There should be no other words in this asset.
General Graphical Asset Rules – September 2022
In addition to the above specific rules, all capsules on Steam must adhere to these basic rules:
- Capsule images must contain a readable product logo/name and have accurate dimensions.
- All capsule images (store and library) must have PG-13 appropriate artwork.
What is appropriate use of text on store capsules? Tastefully promoting your recent update or new content is okay on store capsules, as long as you use a Temporary Artwork Override to do so and localize the text into languages supported by your game. See rules above for details.