Steam changes image rules for game listings starting this fall

Goodbye award logos, and review scores.
Batman Arkham City's cover art with review scores

People want to know what game they’re looking at when a thumbnail on Steam catches their eyes, and lately, it’s been a major problem as video game publishers have been using thumbnail images dominated by review scores, award logos, and text promos.

Related: How to upload your game to Steam?

Valve heard the voice of its users and responded to the issue in a timely manner with new image rules for game listings. The company said “their guidelines weren’t as clear as they should be” and as a result, they’re updating them with clearly-defined rules. Starting this fall Valve won’t allow review scores of any kind, award names, discount marketing copies, or promotion of other products on video game thumbnails. The gaming giant also added that miscellaneous texts won’t be allowed either.

Some publishers took it as far as making their games’ logo so small that it’s nearly impossible to tell what the title is by checking out the image, which defeats the whole purpose of the thumbnails. Steam said in a blog post, that they understand where developers and publishers are coming from, but the user experience is more important in this matter, hence they’re pushing out these new rules into effect on September 1, 2022.

Related: Valve is making an untethered VR headset

The new rules also state that the game’s graphical assets must be localized into at least the same set of languages supported by the game, and additional text can only be used for describing a major update to the game’s content —a new seasonal event, DLC, expansions, battle passes, etc.—

In other news, thanks to free crossplay tools released by Epic Online Services, Epic and Steam players can crossplay now after syncing up their accounts.

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