In a move that may delight players and cause some consternation among game developers, Valve has announced it’s updating the guidelines for vendors on Steam.

Once the Discovery Update 2.0 development tool goes live, Valve says that all developers selling a game through Steam have to use genuine screenshots in their store image gallery, rather than concept art.

“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,” Valve’s Alden Kroll 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.”

Valve, it seems, is already on board with its own new policy; a quick gander at the Dota 2 Steam page shows that the artwork that was previously in the image gallery has been replaced entirely with screenshots of in-game action.

To be honest, a move like this seems long overdue. It’s not like loads of players haven’t bought games off the strength of how they looked, only to find out after handing over their money, that certain features or visual quality that never appeared in the game. Developers frequently show trailers for their games that contain footage players may never see (Deus Ex: Human Revolution), post assets of higher quality than the finished product (Aliens: Colonial Marines), and show off features that their games may never contain (No Man’s Sky).

In all, it’s a good move. Whether Valve will take the time to properly enforce the new guidelines is another matter. If the quality control here mirrors that of Valve’s handling of Steam Greenlight, it’s doubtful the new guidelines will have any impact at all.

[Source: Endgadget]