March 24, 2023

Steam Makes It Mandatory for Developers to Use Actual Screenshots in Listings



  • No Man’s Sky came under scrutiny for false advertising recently
  • Valve updates Dota 2’s listing as per the new guidelines
  • Wants customers to be better informed about product before purchase

Most of us have been in a situation where we have purchased a game and installed it on the basis of great renders posted on its listing page, only to be disappointed later on. False advertising is becoming a serious problem in the gaming industry and on many occasions, acts as a tool for developers to excite people about their products despite lacking the required quality. In order to tackle this problem, Valve has reportedly asked developers to post only actual in-game screenshots in their listing on Steam.

As per a report by Polygon, Valve announced in a post to Steamworks users that it wants to be clearer in its guidelines about screenshots. It said that this is required as when the screenshots section of the game listing is used for images that do not depict the actual game, it becomes harder for customers to understand the product. This change in policy will be enforced when the Discovery Update 2.0 rolls out to users in the next few weeks.

The company itself has taken the initiative and has updated the screenshots section of its own popular game Dota 2 to reflect changes according to the new guidelines. This initiative may be in response to the massive controversy that surrounded No Man’s Sky, whose developer Hello Games was contacted by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding game’s advertisements.

The game came under scrutiny as its actual graphics and gameplay turned out to be vastly inferior to its trailers and promotional images. As a part of this investigation, Valve was also contacted by the ASA.

It seems like Valve has learnt its lesson and now wants the developers to be up-front about their products with customers. However, as of now, the company has not revealed how it will be monitoring whether its guidelines are being followed or not by developers.

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