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There's a lot of places where developers can have their game logo across Steam, and some developers have been going pretty overboard with noisy images filled with extras. Valve is putting a stop to it.

Announced in a Steamworks blog post Valve mentioned how they've "noticed more text, award logos, and even review scores being included by game developers in their graphical asset images" and that "some game logos themselves have become so small that it's hard for players to tell what the name of the game is" resulting in various graphical assets that are so noisy they're "distracting and hard to read". They also noted in most cases it's all in English too "isolating much of the Steam audience that doesn't speak English".

Hard to really argue with that, as a Steam customer it has become something of a nuisance. The example they included shows a small part of the issue:

There's plenty that did it far worse than their funny example images, but obviously Valve doesn't want to call out developers directly.

New rules come into effect on September 1st, with these clarifications:

  • 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

There are a few little exceptions of course, like adjusting the images to tastefully note the latest update which is never really a problem. Valve added a special bit for developers to override an image for one month.

Some developers aren't happy about it though, as it has been another small way to perhaps pull in a bit more attention, with images that have awards some Steam customers might be more likely to click and take a look. I get that developers want to do a little showing off but quite a number really took it too far and Steam has dedicated parts of store pages to list awards and other things.

In other Steam news, Valve has increased production of the Steam Deck!

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Steam, Valve
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25 comments
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Avikarr 1 Aug
Finally! I wish it could be done with movie covers/posters too :P
I want to play those fake example games soooo much. Someone really needs to make the Custard Castle: Small Claims Court.
Eike 1 Aug
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Quoting: soulsourceI want to play those fake example games soooo much. Someone really needs to make the Custard Castle: Small Claims Court.

I just wanted to google for "It's probably fine"
Pengling 1 Aug
Finally! Game thumbnails with titles that are too small to read don't make me want to click through to learn more.

Also, +1 for Custard Castle: Small Claims Court - I would play that for sure.
Ehvis 1 Aug
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Nice. Not the worst abuse I've seen though. That honour goes to the dev that renamed their games to prefix them with !" in order to get sorted on top.
Ultra-short design pitch for "It's probably fine":
You play a notoriously bad driver who has been hired to do deliveries by car. What the character does not know though is that the delivery business is just a dummy company for a car repair workshop, and that the driver's real job is to cause small accidents, bringing more customers for the repair shop. Your job as the player is to guide the notoriously bad driver through the city, and you need to drive bad enough to cause actual damage (repair costs are your score), but not so bad that your character can't decept themself into thinking "it's probably fine" and continue their "important delivery" without stopping.
Once the driver starts to actually doubt that it's probably fine, your turn is over, and your score gets counted.
Pengling 1 Aug
Quoting: soulsourceUltra-short design pitch for "It's probably fine":
You play a notoriously bad driver who has been hired to do deliveries by car. What the character does not know though is that the delivery business is just a dummy company for a car repair workshop, and that the driver's real job is to cause small accidents, bringing more customers for the repair shop. Your job as the player is to guide the notoriously bad driver through the city, and you need to drive bad enough to cause actual damage (repair costs are your score), but not so bad that your character can't decept themself into thinking "it's probably fine" and continue their "important delivery" without stopping.
Once the driver starts to actually doubt that it's probably fine, your turn is over, and your score gets counted.
I'd play it!
elmapul 1 Aug
"No text or imagery promoting a different product. This includes no marketing of sequels or other titles in the same franchise"

chapter 2 count as marketing of sequels?
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Quoting: Pengling
Quoting: soulsourceUltra-short design pitch for "It's probably fine":
You play a notoriously bad driver who has been hired to do deliveries by car. What the character does not know though is that the delivery business is just a dummy company for a car repair workshop, and that the driver's real job is to cause small accidents, bringing more customers for the repair shop. Your job as the player is to guide the notoriously bad driver through the city, and you need to drive bad enough to cause actual damage (repair costs are your score), but not so bad that your character can't decept themself into thinking "it's probably fine" and continue their "important delivery" without stopping.
Once the driver starts to actually doubt that it's probably fine, your turn is over, and your score gets counted.
I'd play it!

These all were part of the Summer Sale riddles. I don't remember the pitches but they were all quite good. Anyway, the clue for that one was:

QuoteNo actions to take or choices to make. This passive adventure prefers that you wait.
Quoting: AvikarrFinally! I wish it could be done with movie covers/posters too :P
I think you hit the nail on the head in explaining why I ignore that approach to marketing and wait for (non-IGN) reviews. I can see where many take advantage of Steam, until now, allowing a laissez-faire attitude to include such marketing.

That being said, kudos to Steam in defense of the consumers.
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