Steam are soon to release their “Discovery 2.0” update and with it comes a well overdue and welcomed policy change that will ask Developers and Publishers to only put pictures on their storefront that actually represent actual gameplay.
The Policy change by Steam will put an end to games being marketed by using concept art or pre-rendered images, for example you may remember a game attracting a little bit of criticism for not reflecting the game that was marketed prior to its launch, I think it was called No Man’s Sky or something. Well gamers would have been a lot better informed of what to expect, or not to expect had this policy been in force when it released amongst a fanfare of hype.
Valve have said “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. 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.”
The marketing of games has been a murky practice at best and downright purposefully misleading at worst for quite a while now so it’s very positive to finally see an industry leader take the lead and try to offer a bit of clarity for gamers who are looking to spend their hard earned cash.
Valve aren’t exactly innocent as they themselves have admitted although they are trying to change that. Valve have said “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.”
Hopefully this will encourage there platforms to introduce similar measures and hopefully the wider industry will start treating gamers with a bit more respect and consideration when marketing their games. time will tell. Valve say the update is still a few weeks away from being released.