If you didn’t know, Valve has been offering non-game related movies, anime, short films, and documentaries on Steam for a short while now. They’ve steadily increased the library of streaming media over the years beyond the limitations of video games, but it appears that may be coming to an end soon.
“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.”
This change was rather immediate, as observed by Siliconera. The video category tag in the search bar for content mostly returns results for movies, documentaries, short films, and content directly related to a game, game culture, or game development.
Previously there were all sorts of other videos that popped up as well, including various animes and live-action movies, such as Jack Chan’s Supercop (which is still available to rent on Steam, for now), and Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter, along with animated films and series such as Sailor Moon, Ghost in the Shell, RWBY, Berserk, Initial D, Food Wars, and Monster Musume to name but a few.
While Valve mentioned that non-gaming related movies didn’t see as much engagement as gaming-related content, it does seem like a calculated move to remove the content while Valve is currently trying to make headway into the mainland Chinese market.
It’s possible that Valve is simply looking to reserve bandwidth on unnecessary content, but some gamers questioned why they would begin to remove movie content unrelated to games when there are plenty of shovelware games on Steam at the moment that no one plays or likes?
It’s definitely a viable question, especially given that adding more movies and a variety of anime to Steam would have eventually courted an audience over time who may have used the platform exclusively for streaming movie/television content, making them a potential competitor to Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Amazon. But by pulling out so quickly they’ll likely never be able to grow that audience and will leave the other services to monopolize streaming culture.
For now you can still rent or purchase some of the movies and anime series available on Steam, but if you had plans on picking them up you might want to hurry before they go away for good.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)