Nobody Watched Movies On Steam, So The Video Section Is Going Away

Illustration for article titled Nobody Watched Movies On Steam, So The Video Section Is Going Away

Did you know that Steam wasn’t just for games? For the past few years you’ve also been able to watch short films and documentaries on the service, but since you probably didn’t know that and nobody watched them, Valve is getting rid of the Video section in the store.

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I share this not for the news itself, which is meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but for the wording of Valve’s announcement, which is refreshingly brutal in an era of couched words and vague statements:

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.

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“We tried a thing, nobody cared, ah well”.

Gaming-related films will still be made available via the game’s actual store page, while “non-gaming videos will be retired and will no longer be available for purchase”, though any you might have picked up previously will still be available to re-download.

 

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

Can’t make it work if it’s done as an afterthought, Valve.

Prices were too high, the feature was burried and mixed in, they lacked a dedicated section, portal or whatever. Even how videos are displayed in the Wishlist (I have a few anime titles in it) is weird... price is greyed out, I have never once received an e-mail talking about a promotion of videos or music, and Steam got in this game pretty late. It doesn’t seem to offer any advantage over estabilished competition.

It’s just all too weird... like a separate thing operating in stranger’s land. Implemented and abandoned or something. I’d have bought a whole ton of anime titles there if only they dropped the price sometimes, promos, anything. But why bother when I already have classic titles on DVD or Crunchyroll for the newer stuff? Gotta offer something as advantage... and it’s not like Steam doesn’t have a whole ton of strategies and stuff to offer.

Same problem with music and software... it’s just there, thrown in a pile that is dominated by games. All of those needs clearly separated sections, not just a tab to select on the library. I’ve already said this before, but Steam makes very poor usage of the tagging system they made. They need more people there to work on usability and UX.

I think I rarely saw movies display on the store front, and they usually didn’t match my taste. Oddly enough, if I remember it right, it was often about games I never played, or people I didn’t know about or followed.

The player itself is pretty ok though, as far as I’ve tested. But I guess it’s for the best. If they aren’t willing to do much with it, better take it out so it doesn’t become another piece of clutter.