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Valve demands real in-game screenshots for Steam listings


Valve will update its Steam store policies to require developers to include real in-game screenshots of games rather than pre-rendered images or artwork. While the debacle around No Man’s Sky likely led to the change in policies, it isn’t the only game to alter screenshots to provide additional detail.

First spotted on Facepunch’s forums, here’s what Valve’s message says:

We haven’t been super crisp on guidelines for screenshots in the past, so we’d like to take this opportunity to clarify some rules in this space. When the ‘screenshot’ section of a store page is used for images other than screenshots that depict the game, it can make it harder for customers to understand what the product is that they are looking at. Additionally, we’re going to start showing game screenshots in more places as described above, and these images need to be able to represent the game.

We ask that any images you upload to the ‘screenshot’ section of your store page should be screenshots that show your game. This means avoiding using concept art, pre-rendered cinematic stills, or images that contain awards, marketing copy, or written product descriptions. Please show customers what your game is actually like to play.

For elements such as marketing copy, awards you’d like to show off, or descriptions of your Deluxe Edition, we ask that you use the specific spaces already available on your store page to put that content rather than including it in your screenshots.

Dota 2 is an example of where we were doing it wrong ourselves. We’re now in the process of updating Dota 2 to use screenshots of the game rather than artwork.

Concept art and other marketing-related materials will still be allowed on Steam, but they will be highlighted in a separate section.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda is an avid reader of science-fiction novels. A long-time Arsenal fan, his other interests include gaming, basketball and making music. He also likes tinkering with hardware in his free time.

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