Over the next few weeks Steam will remove the library of licensed videos and films from its platform, Valve has announced.
The idea originally sprang into being after the platform primarily focused on gaming-related content like video documentaries. Since that initial launch, Steam’s Video section then allowed people to sell documentaries, movies, and other video content that wasn’t explicitly related to games. With this change, the focus is shifting back to the original intent.
The one important exception to this removal is videos hosted for Steam Store pages. Videos uploaded by publishers or developers will not be affected by this change. Users who purchased content from the Videos section will retain the right to view said content, so don’t worry about that.
It’s interesting to see Valve making this change, but it’s not really unpredictable. The service has had plenty of controversies and issues over the last few months alone. And with upcoming competition from the likes of Epic and GOG, Valve needs to find a way to make the platform more focused and relevant for their core audience, gamers.
The company has been making changes to try and improve the service and its usability, but core issues with visibility, especially for indie developers, still remain rampant. They’ve tried to make things better, by doing things like allowing curated pages for publishers, but the issues remain, primarily due to the glut of content on Steam.
Valve has made a variety of positive changes, but they still have a way to go yet. Things like cracking down on fake games meant for farming achievements, and banning extremely offensive content where a good start. The games giant also revamped its chat service and held developers to more stringent promotional guidelines to ensure accuracy in screenshots used. It will be intriguing to see how these and other changes impact the future of Steam as a service.
Here’s the full statement from Valve:
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.