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Steam rule change prevents developers from adding reviews to images

As the leaves change from green to brown to signify autumn, you’re going to notice some pretty big changes on Steam. Valve announced that games sold on Steam will no longer display accolades and reviews on their store images starting September 1.

In a blog post published on Thursday, Valve explained that a lack of clearly defined rules regarding graphics has allowed game developers to add more text, award logos, and review scores to their promotional banner images — or Capsules, as the company calls them. Some examples include shrinking the text of the game’s logo to the point where it’s hard for players to tell what the game’s name is, littering the images with distracting and illegible award logos and ratings, and including review scores that are no longer accurate. In other cases, the text is presented in English only, making the games inaccessible to players who speak other languages.

Valve isn’t banning awards, reviews, and ratings from the games’ pages outright. There are dedicated spaces for developers to include that information on the game pages so that they can still communicate the quality of their games. For example, the Game of the Year award logos will disappear from the bottom of the Hades banner, but they will still be seen in the awards box when you scroll down the game’s page along with other awards it received from other publications.

Hades banner as shown on Steam with Game of the Year accolades awarded by IGN, Eurogamer, Ars Technica, Rock Paper Shotgun, and Polygon.

In addition to award logos and review scores, Valve said that game store images shall not include discount marketing, like saying the game is 90% off, nor text or images promoting different games, especially sequels or other games within the same franchise. The only text that can be included in the image is the title, subtitles, and the occasional text promoting new updates or content. Developers need to make sure that the text is localized to the languages their game supports.

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