The world's biggest PC game storefront, Steam is shutting down its video section. Valve, the company behind Steam announced this change. While no definite end date has been given, over the next few weeks, Valve will "retire" a number of non-gaming videos and they won't be available for purchase. If you ended up buying any such video, you will be able to access it. This appears to be an attempt from the erstwhile developer now storefront runner to focus efforts in the face of competition from the likes of the Epic Games Store from Fortnite and Unreal Engine maker Epic Games.
"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," a post from Valve reads. "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."
Much the like App Store and Google Play, Valve takes 30 percent of all game sales on Steam. Though there have been some exceptions for those within the Steam Direct program. Now, it's 30 percent for the first $10 million in game sales, 25 percent for sales between $10 million and $50 million, 20 percent for sales above $50 million. It appears to be an attempt to keep big budget AAA game makers like Ubisoft and Bethesda from moving away from Steam entirely. At the same time, it's far from helpful for indie developers who struggle for discoverability and sales on Steam to begin with.
"The value of a large network like Steam has many benefits that are contributed to and shared by all the participants," a post from Valve reads. "Finding the right balance to reflect those contributions is a tricky but important factor in a well-functioning network. It's always been apparent that successful games and their large audiences have a material impact on those network effects so making sure Steam recognises and continues to be an attractive platform for those games is an important goal for all participants in the network."
There will be changes regarding sales data confidentiality as well which could make for some interesting developments in the months to come.
"We've also made a change to the agreement regarding confidentiality of your sales data," the post continues. "We frequently get questions from partners who want to talk with other developers\third parties or publicly about the sales of their games on Steam. We've heard you, and we're updating the confidentiality provisions to make it clear that the partner can share sales data about their game as they see fit."
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