Valve has announced that it is retiring the video portion of its Steam digital distribution platform, ceasing to make non-gaming videos available for purchase but still allowing previously-purchased titles to be accessed at will.
Launched in 2003 and promoted via its mandatory installation to play the much-anticipated Half-Life 2 in 2004, Valve's Steam platform has become the biggest game distribution service in the world. In the years since its launch it has grown to around 90 million monthly active users, while expanding its scope: From a place to buy and download games, Steam now offers built-in chat support, social forums, screenshot and video capture, anti-cheat functionality, and even non-gaming content from professional software through to films and other videos.
It's here, though, that Valve is looking to trim some fat: In an announcement which appears to be a response to the growing threat posed by Epic's rival Game Store platform, the company has confirmed it is looking to concentrate on its core gaming customers and as a result is jettisoning its video distribution capabilities.
'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,' Valve explains in the announcement. '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.'
Valve has not offered a full timescale for the removal of non-gaming video content.
January 24 2020 | 12:00