It looks like Valve is looking to keep its users exclusively focused on Steam after a recent addition to Steamworks shows that developers might have to remove any mention of non-Steam versions of their games.
This will only apply to the community section of each game’s Steam page, but it does still put some restrictions on devs.
A game’s community hub on Steam is where developers can interact with players on discussion boards, showcase new content and updates, and is also a place often used to advertise if the game is coming to other platforms. This change would remove that option for developers, whether the promotion is for a full release or a simple patch.
This new clause will be added to a pre-existing Frequently Asked Questions board, answering if developers can use Steam community features to promote a release on other platforms.
“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,” Steamworks reads. “This applies both to full versions of your game and to content patches that change the existing version.”
It is unclear if this means that developers can’t get around this by using vague language like saying “it will be available on all platforms,” or something along those lines. But as noted by GamesIndustry.biz, there are no details available about when this rule was added or how Valve intends to make sure it’s respected moving forward.
The phrasing of the statement also makes it seem like developers will no longer be able to post their patch notes or dev updates on their own websites and link to it on a Steam community post.