Valve has announced that they have banned ratings and awards from the Steam store, noting that it is getting too confusing and messy for customers.
The rush for publishers and/or game developers to get good reviews and/or blurbs to throw on promo art for their game(s) is not new. However, an increasing urge for this sort of thing has become more common in the digital age, with some games having their art completely filled with scores and/or website names.
Valve’s new store graphical asset rules note: “Content based graphics asset capsules on Steam is limited to game artwork, the game name, and any official subtitle.”
Valve typically doesn’t make major changes to the store like this one, with updates only every few years or so. The new changes will take effect September 1 this year, so expect the store to look very different then.
“Our goal is to make it as clear and easy as possible for customers to find games to buy and play on Steam,” Valve said in the new update. The changes are focused on what Valve calls “capsules,” the banner images that represent every game on the Steam store.
As publishers and developers used more critical flair to raise awareness of games, it sometimes even becomes unclear what the title of the game is.
“Some game logos themselves have become so small that it is difficult for players to see what the name of the game is. In other cases, asset graphics are so cluttered that it’s distracting and difficult to read,” Valve said.
In the digital age, video games are often released incompletely and are heavily patched or updated throughout their lives – meaning reviews become outdated in many cases.
This is especially true when some websites – including ours – have updated their review scores when there are drastic changes to a game after release.
Valve also listed some further rules of what’s not allowed in the game’s promo art:
No review scores of any kind, including Steam reviews or external news sources
No price names symbols or logos
No discount marketing copy (e.g. no text ‘Now on sale’ or ‘Up to 90% off’)
No text or images promoting another product. This does not include marketing sequels or other titles in the same franchise.
No other miscellaneous text
Do you often buy games on Steam? Are game store pages getting cluttered with reviews, blurbs, and more? Sound off in the comments below!