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New Rules for Graphical Asset Capsules

Steam announced that they will roll out clearer and stricter guidelines for graphical asset capsules in the store, which will take effect by the first of September 2022. The guideline revisions are part of the platform’s efforts to improve users’ shopping experience which can be confusing or even inaccurate for customers. 

Examples of graphical assets that could cause such experiences include capsules with logos too small to be able to identify the game they belong to as well as graphical assets cluttered with award logos and ratings that distract from the actual content. The platform also wants to get rid of capsules that feature outdated review scores as well as ensure that capsule text is not limited to English, as is currently the case, which excludes the non-English speaking spectrum of users. 

Store Graphical Asset Rules

“Content on base graphical asset capsules on Steam is limited to game artwork, the game name, and any official subtitle. For clarity, this means:

  1. No review scores of any kind, including Steam reviews or external news sources
  2. No award names, symbols, or logos
  3. No discount marketing copy (eg. no “On Sale Now” or “Up to 90% off” text)
  4. No text or imagery promoting a different product. This includes no marketing of sequels or other titles in the same franchise.
  5. No other miscellaneous text.”
Examples of graphical assets featuring elements that will soon be forbidden.

At Steam Data Suite, we are confident that these new rules will have a positive impact on both the publisher as well as customer sides. While they limit publishers’ agency in helping their games’ capsules to stand out, it will be easier for customers to tell which game is being promoted, cause less confusion, and therefore likely draw more customers to store pages. Review cluttering, especially, is not very well perceived in gamer communities, and refraining from including reviews in graphical assets is most probably going to be perceived very positively by gamers. 

Since Steam understands that partners are keen on informing users about large updates and seasonal sales, and because they are generally well received by potential customers, it will still be possible to present graphical assets that feature such announcements. These assets will need to be uploaded as “Artwork Overrides” capsules. 

Artwork Overrides Asset Rules

  1. “Must use Artwork Overrides – When including text on a graphical asset, this MUST be uploaded as an Artwork Override with a length limit of one month.”
  2. “Must localize any text – Any text included on a graphical asset MUST be localized into at least the same set of languages supported by the game.
  3. “Only to describe new content – The only acceptable additional text on a game capsule is words describing a major update to the game content, a new seasonal event, battle pass, DLC, or similar new content for the game.”
Example of appropriate use of text on store capsules.

Library Graphic Asset Rules

  1. Library Capsule – this image must include your game logo. It can also include your game’s subtitle if appropriate. No other text should be present on this capsule.
  2. Library Hero – this image should only contain artwork. There should be no words at all in this asset.
  3. Library Logo – this image is only your game’s logo on a transparent background. There should be no other words in this asset.

General Graphical Asset Rules

  1. Capsule images must contain a readable product logo/name and have accurate dimensions.
  2. All capsule images (store and library) must have PG-13 appropriate artwork.

What do the new rules mean for publishers?

We already concluded that the new rules and guidelines will make it harder for publishers to design catchy graphical assets. The widespread techniques of including review scores, reward scores or other catchy elements in graphical assets will (mostly) not be allowed anymore. This makes it ever more relevant to have evaluate competitors graphical assets, and subsequently design and showcase capsules that help your game(s) stand out from the competition. Given that your game might have 20+ competitors or more, this can be a tedious process. Steam Data Suite’s asset comparison tool allows you to easily assemble a meaningful overview of your competitors’ discoverability and store page assets. That way, you can focus on the analysis of the competition and creation of your graphical assets instead of spending a lot of time browsing the Steam store, collecting assets manually. The asset comparison tool is available in our free plan, ready to get started? Click here!

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