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Valve recently updated the terms of its Steamworks document, which stipulates that developers and publishers who sell their games on Steam can use their platform. Recent changes have focused on preventing developers from using the Steam store pages, community channels, and other communication methods to promote the purchase of their games on other platforms. The term

was recently added to the Steamworks documentation section:

"In games that you publish through Steam, and in communications on Steam, you can only promote the Steam version and its availability through Steam, but not by other means Promote the Steam version and its availability. Distribution points. This applies to both the full version of your game and the content patch that changes the existing version. "

This essentially means that although developers who own the game on Steam are free, they can publish their games on other platforms, but they are not allowed to use Steam to actively promote other versions of games. It remains to be seen how this policy will be regulated, but it is certain that it will be safe to link it to any third-party store, use marketing language to advertise another store, and actively promote the sale of games that are not available on Steam. It is considered a violation of this new policy. In the past we have seen cases where developers do this, either by directing users to stores that provide developers with more revenue share (such as itch.io and Epic Game Store), or using their page communities to promote games. They have Sign up as an exclusive sale elsewhere (on one of the consoles or in the Epic game store).

For some time, Valve has turned a blind eye to developers doing this kind of thing, but it seems they will never tolerate it anymore. There is no indication that any form of punishment will be imposed on anyone who did this in the past, so this is just a warning that it will be banned in the future. Developers who clearly violate the Steamworks documentation may face the risk of withdrawing their games for sale, but since this is not a huge compulsion, it is hoped that this action will not cause serious consequences.

Developers who sell games on multiple stores and platforms can still promote all versions of their games for free on social media, their own websites or blogs, and any marketing channels provided by other stores and platforms, but Valve does not want in the future Provide promotional information for other stores.

We have seen how disputes about these types of issues will escalate under certain circumstances. There are ongoing large-scale legal disputes between Epic, Apple, and Google. Hopefully, with Valve’s fairly reasonable policy on this issue, this situation should remain relatively calm, except for making it part of the platform's documentation, rather than taking extreme measures to remove offensive games from their store.

We asked Valve for more details about this change, and they said:

"About the updated language in the Steamworks Community FAQ; the overall spirit of this update is to remind content creators that their Steam pages should not be used for certain Activities, such as promoting the exclusive availability of games on competing platforms, promoting external downloads that bypass Steam’s content policy., or promoting other activities that conflict with the Steam distribution agreement. The new language of FAQs is not really introducing new policies or being vigilant. Most people who post on Steam should be concerned about issues, but remind a few developers to explore the limitations of existing rules. Existing policies."

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