Developers will soon be prevented from using anything other than in-game shots in a title's Steam Store carousel.
Listings will often use either promotional art or assets created during development. However, with No Man's Sky attracting such fierce criticism for the difference between its some of its pre-release material and the final shipped game, the practise – which has for a long time been considered a grey area – is under more scrutiny than ever.
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,” a communication to developers said.
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. 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.
For elements such as marketing copy, awards you'd like to show off, or descriptions of your Deluxe Edition, we ask that you use the specific spaces already available on your store page to put that content rather than including it in your screenshots.”
Valve pre-empted further criticism by admitting that it has fallen foul of such things in the past, citing its own listing for Dota 2.