Valve Retires Non-Gaming Video Content From Steam

Valve announced that it's retiring the Video section of Steam as part of a "refocus" on gaming-specific content in the marketplace.

Steam's Video section previously allowed people to sell documentaries, movies, and other video content that didn't have to be explicitly related to gaming. Yet it seems that Steam users were mostly interested in the platform as a game marketplace--which makes sense given that it's primarily a place where people can buy PC games--rather than a central hub of digital content.

"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," Valve said. "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."

The company said that gaming-related videos will now be discovered "via the associated game or software store page, or through search, user tags, recommendations, etc." Other videos will be "retired" over the coming weeks. Steam users will still be able to view the videos they've already purchased, which is a relief, but it's clear that Valve wants to exit the non-gaming-video business.

This decision arrives during a time of transition for Steam. Over the last few years Valve has rethought many aspects of the store, from how it displays reviews to what screenshots developers can use to promote their latest titles, and overhauled its Steam Chat service. All that's in addition to the company's work on virtual reality, cross-play with other platforms, and other tech.

Steam also faces more competition than ever now that Discord's in the game-selling business, the Epic Games Store has debuted, and services like Twitch have promoted their own storefronts. Other companies, from Microsoft to Electronic Arts, have been planning Netflix-like subscription services that would obviate the need to buy games one at a time from platforms like Steam.

All that competition is bound to lead to changes in Steam. Removing non-gaming content, which apparently wasn't all that popular anyway, is an easy way for Valve to focus on other areas.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.