Steam discontinues video section; giving up on the TV?

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Valve put out a message last night that the video section on the Steam Store is being removed, which is a reversal of the natural direction the platform was taking. After some of the early video game documentaries became hits, and most of us didn’t mind dropping $1.99 to watch, the platform seemed to beef up its library and highlight those additions. Especially with likes of John Wick and Kung Fury along with Alan Tudyk’s Con Man I personally thought that was the direction the platform was being pulled.

It seems they recognized that their bread and butter is the video game content and community offerings, which makes sense. Even the movies highest reviewed on the platform are those that seemingly have at least an esoteric connection to video game or counter-culture theme. People like to keep their video libraries together and Steam was tough to fit in with iTunes and Google Play being the obvious choices for most consumers, no matter their Steam loyalty.

What seems puzzling to me is the need to remove the section altogether as it might be a mistake to count on organic discovery and dev promotion, which becomes less of a concern without paying the licensing fees for major titles. Probably actually a death-nail for video via Steam; which though seems to fit with their game-centric world view, actually conflicts with the goal of taking over the TV from the consoles. Might be a sign of giving up on that front.

Full announcement below:

For the past few years, we have worked on expanding Steam beyond games and software by building a video platform that supports paid and free video content. In reviewing what Steam users actually watch, it became clear we should focus our effort on offering content that is either directly related to gaming or, is accessory content for games or software sold on Steam. 

As part of this refocus, we have retired the Video section of the Steam Store menu with an expectation that video content is discovered via the associated game or software store page, or through search, user tags, recommendations, etc. 

Over the coming weeks a number of non-gaming videos will be retired and will no longer be available for purchase. Previously purchased content will remain available to owners.


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