Valve no longer allowing developers to promote other versions of their games on Steam


By Sherif Saed, Tuesday, 18 August 2020 13:48 GMT

You may soon no longer see your favourite games on Steam mention other platforms.

Valve has updated the big Steamworks documentation with a new clause under the community section. It’s not clear when the update was made, but a cursory look at Wayback Machine indicates the change was recent.

At the bottom of the page, Valve added a new question to a pre-existing FAQ. The question and answer specifically address cases where a developer would want to use the Steam community features, such as announcements, forums etc. to let customers know about a non-Steam version of the game.

Sometimes that comes in the form of mentioning the Epic Games Store to make potential Steam customers aware of when the exclusivity period is going to end. But this could also cover instances where the developer is simply discussing the console version in one way or another.


“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. This applies both to full versions of your game and to content patches that change the existing version,” it reads.

The last bit refers to adult games, mostly visual novels, that tend to post links to the full patch notes on Steam, but not the patch notes themselves.

In the past, many developers relied on Steam’s more robust community tools to either troubleshoot problems with other versions, or promote the game through trailers and the like, even when the game wasn’t itself available on Steam.

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