Valve is cracking down on cluttered game banners on Steam

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Regular Steam users should be used to banners from available games having quite a bit more information than just its name and artwork, with everything from review scores and awards to entire quotes being squeezed into the area. To fight the amount of clutter, Valve is introducing a new set of rules later this year for store and library graphical assets that represent games.

In a blog post, Valve explains that it already provides dedicated spaces in store pages for developers to provide additional information like review scores and quotes to share with players. However, the company says that due to it not setting clear guidelines, messy graphics assets are "creating a confusing and sometimes even inaccurate experience for customers."

"Some game logos themselves have become so small that it's hard for players to tell what the name of the game is," Valve went on to say. "In other cases, graphical asset images are so cluttered with award logos and ratings that it is distracting and hard to read. Some capsules include review scores that are no longer accurate."

Steam graphical asset capsule example

The rules listed below are being added to the existing bunch regarding graphical assets used on the Steam store on September 1:

  • 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.

Developers looking to advertise major updates and events on banners are still able to do so, but only on a temporary basis (up to one month) using the "Capsule Artwork Overrides" option in developer settings. Plus, the new text must be relevant to what's happening in-game, and it also needs to be localized to languages that are supported by the game.

Steam game library example

Meanwhile, assets used on Steam library pages of customers are gaining these rules:

  • 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.

Lastly, these two new rules are being introduced across both library and store pages:

  • 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.

Valve will begin enforcing its new Steam artwork rules on September 1, 2022. Games that don't meet its guidelines will be ineligible for Steam sales and events, and have visibility limits put on them across the store, reducing discoverability.

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