Valve is currently clarifying a rule change in its Steamworks Community FAQ. They are forbidding the use of the hub for non-Steam versions of their game.
Valve always showed lax attitudes when it comes to their Steam Community Hub. Even then, a new update is detailing how devs can use it. In addition to the Steamworks Community FAQ, they note how devs can’t discuss other versions of their game.
New policy to deter promoting EGS exclusives
According to an update, Valve notes that the hub is only for Steam versions of the game. Devs cannot promote other versions on other platforms of the game. They also can’t discuss content patches that circumvent the existing Steam version.
“In the game you ship via Steam, and in communications on Steam, you may only promote the Steam version and its availability via Steam, and not other distribution outlets,” said the FAQ. “This applies both to full versions of your game and to content patches that change the existing version.”
Over the past few months, many games used Steam to promote their EGS exclusive titles. Many start a Steam page, only to show that the game will come one year after launch. They then filter fans who look at the Steam page and carry them to the Epic Store.
This type of usage is something that Valve is looking to address. Some adult visual novels and titles are available in the game.
New rules to prevent devs from linking R18 patches
In many cases, the Steam version of adult titles is an all-ages version of the title. Many devs for these games offer the R18 patch outside on their official websites. This issue is another area that Valve is trying to control.
The additional detail on the Steamworks Community FAQ tries to reinforce the rule. The language seems broad, but its message is clear.
“Regarding the updated language on the Steamworks Community FAQ; the general spirit of this update was to remind content creators that their Steam pages should not be used for certain activities such as for the promotion of a game’s exclusive availability on a competing platform, the promotion of an external download that circumvents Steam content policies, or the promotion of other activity that conflicts with the Steam Distribution Agreement,” said the company in an interview.
“The new language on the FAQ was not really the introduction of any new policy or policing that should concern the majority of those publishing on Steam, but more of a reminder of existing rules for a small number of developers exploring the boundaries of the existing policies.”
In cases where there is a violation of the Steamworks Community FAQ, judgment is on a case to case basis. A Valve rep promises to communicate with the devs to resolve the issue.