Valve announced they’ve banned reviews and awards from being allowed on the Steam store, noting its become too confusing and cluttered for customers.
The rush for publishers and/or game developers to get good reviews and/or blurbs to throw onto promo art for their game(s) is not new. However, an increasing push for this sort of thing has become more common in the digital era, with some games completely packing their art full of scores and/or website names.
Valve’s new “store graphical asset rules” note the following: “Content on base graphical asset capsules on Steam is limited to game artwork, the game name, and any official subtitle.”
Valve doesn’t typically make wide-reaching changes for the store like this, with updates only every few years or so. The new changes go into effect as of September 1st this year, so expect the store to look quite different then.
“It’s our goal to make it as clear and straightforward as possible for customers to find games to buy and play on Steam,” Valve said in the new update. The changes are focused on what Valve calls “capsules,” the banner images that represent each game on the Steam store.
As publishers and developers included more critical flair to try boosting awareness of games, sometimes it even becomes unclear what the game is titled.
“Some game logos themselves have become so small that it’s hard for players to tell what the name of the game is. In other cases, graphical asset images are so cluttered that it is distracting and hard to read,” Valve said.
In the digital age, video games are frequently released incomplete and are heavily patched or updated throughout their lifetime – meaning in many cases reviews become outdated.
This is also especially the case where some websites – including ours – have updated their review scores when drastic changes happen with a game, post-release.
Valve also listed some further rules with what isn’t allowed in the game’s promo art:
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
Do you frequently buy games on Steam? Are the store pages for games getting more cluttered with reviews, blurbs, and more? Sound off in the comments below!