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Valve imposing new trailer restrictions on Steam developers

The company has rolled out an update that limits the number of trailers devs can place before screenshots on Steam store pages.

Chris Kerr

May 3, 2023

2 Min Read
The Steam logo on a backdrop showing rows of video game artwork

Valve is now limiting the number of trailers developers can place before their screenshots on Steam store pages.

Starting today, Steam developers will only be able to place two trailers in the row of thumbnails to the left of screenshots, creating a default view that always has a mix of screenshots and trailers front-and-center.

As detailed in a Steamworks blog post, developers can still upload as many trailers as they like, but any remaining clips (outside of their spotlighted two) will be placed behind their screenshots.

"[The change means it] is important to select the order of your trailers to prioritize the ones you think will be most useful to potential new customers. You can specify the order of your trailers in the 'Edit Store Page' section of Steamworks, on the 'Trailers' tab," said Valve.

"The two that appear first to any given player depends on any language or country settings you have set per video. If you don't have any language or country restrictions set on your trailers, then it will simply be the top two that are listed. Any remaining trailers will be included at the end of that row, following the screenshots you have uploaded to Steam."

Valve said the change will make it easier for prospective customers to find and view screenshots, with many store pages often being flooded with clips and trailers over the course of production.

The company added that it wasn't always clear to developers how they should manage trailers in order to provide the best experience for players, and believes the new limitation will address both of those issues.

"Ideally you'll want to give players a good look at the gameplay of your game in as short a time as possible," continued Valve, laying out some best practices for developers using the new system.

"We recommend that your first trailer be one that features primarily gameplay, clearly demonstrating what the player will be doing in the game and how they will be interacting with the world you've built. Save your company logos or narrative storylines for further into your trailer once you've gotten the interest of a player."

The update will also allow developers to select from a pre-set list of categories for each trailer they upload, specifying whether it's primarily composed of gameplay, cinematic, or teaser footage. These categories will be displayed alongside the name devs enter for their trailers in the video player on the store page, letting shoppers identify which videos are relevant to them.

Valve pointed out that developers who've already organized their Steam trailers won't need to make any sweeping changes following the update, but advised those who "haven't paid a lot of attention" to the order of their clips to see how their store pages have been affected.

You can find more information about the update on the Steamworks blog.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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