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Valve Cracking Down on Deceptive Screenshots

Steam Gaming Service

Steam’s impending “Discovery Update 2.0” will change its policy so that all images on a game’s store page will have to be in-game screenshots. No more concept art or pre-rendered stills here folks.

“Regardless of the content in your game, please make sure that images uploaded to the ‘screenshot’ section of your store page are actually screenshots of your game,”

“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,” Valve stated. “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.”

While the issues with the quality of content on Steam, and the business practices surrounding it, are well-known; what many gamers struggle with is finding easy ways to sort out the junk from the treasure. Sure, removing potentially deceptive screenshots could be one very small fix to a larger issue, the change itself does nothing to address the underlying issues with the platform. It’s no secret that Steam, and especially Greenlight, is choked with low-quality ports, games made from entirely pre-made assets and shady developer behavior. Even pages for Valve titles like DOTA 2 are using non-representative art to promote games on the storefront.

It remains to be seen what this update to policy will change in terms of user confidence and satisfaction. It may well cut down at least a little bit on users being duped with deceptive promotional materials, at least I hope so.

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