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Valve closes Steam’s video storefront

Not enough viewership; future videos will focus more on gaming

Beholder (short film) - man reaching for glass
Beholder (2019), the short film adaptation of the game, is still available on Steam.
Kinodom Films
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Valve is paring down its video offerings on Steam, and will now limit the service to movies that are directly related to video gaming or are adjunctive to ones sold on Steam.

The change may seem a subtle one, but Valve’s announcement wasn’t. A brief note said it had noticed what users had watched — or rather, how much they hadn’t watched — among the free and premium videos available and realized its experiment with the service was at an end.

“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,” Valve said on Tuesday.

To that end, Steam retired the video section on the Steam Store effective immediately, and over the next few weeks “a number of-non-gaming videos will be retired and will no longer be available for purchase.” Anything users have already bought will remain accessible.

Steam’s managers now expect that video content will be discovered “via the associated game or software store page, or through search” and other means.

Steam Video had been the platform for, among other things, the short film adaptations of Papers, Please and Beholder, both free to watch (and also hosted on YouTube). Most of the videos now found by searching the store are paid content, few with more than a couple dozen user reviews and many with none at all.

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