Steam Video has always been in somewhat of an odd place on the platform. An ecosystem within the greater Steam ecosystem that never really took off and has had many a cheap video that no one cared for on it. Thus perhaps it should be no surprise that Valve is making wholesale changes to Steam Video, including the fact that there will be a mass Steam video removal later this month.
While not officially announced, the first of the changes to the Steam Video platform have already quietly taken place. As of January 8, Valve has removed the video app creation from Steamworks and now requires that you contact them and discuss what video you want to put on the platform, and they'll make you a place for it if it meets the new Steam video guidelines. This information has been confirmed by an update to the Steamworks documentation that states the following regarding the new Steam video guidelines:
As of January 8th, 2019, the requirements for distributing video content on Steam have changed.
Video content should be:
- Directly related to gaming
- Accessory content for games sold on Steam
- Accessory content for software sold on Steam
- A Steam 360 Video
According to the information we've been able to gather, on February 19, store pages for videos that no longer meet the new requirements will be moved into an unlisted state and users will no longer be able to purchase them. An email sent out by Valve said that qualifying apps will remain on Steam, and Valve has reached out to developers who have videos telling them which of their videos will or won't be removed. Additionally, the Steam Video Hub will no longer be linked on Steam. Importantly, users will still be able to access Steam Videos that they have purchased before that date. The video removal will be similar to delisting, in that users will not be able to purchase it or find the store page otherwise.
Speaking with Waves and Blaze developer Erik Matson, he shared the following thoughts on the situation:
It is interesting to note that this appears to be happening just as Valve is increasing its focus on Steam TV for gaming, with this Friday featuring them hosting an event to announce the winners of the Steam Awards and the Steam store page showing more streams.My thoughts are that Steam was a great place to share independent and/or small studio animations because of the Steam Discovery system, we were able to gain some fans, which is a really difficult task these days on Youtube/Vimeo. Following Steams new video requirements, we will have an animation for The Rain Spirit Code Breaker included free with the game, and are considering creating an interactive animated game for Lyceum of the Strange to keep the series alive on Steam. So we will have to adjust and adapt.
We reached out to Valve for comment on this story, but they have not replied to us at this time. If they do reply, or more information comes to light, we will update this story.
What do you think of the changes coming to Steam Video? Have you rented or bought videos on Steam? Do you think the planned video removal is a good thing for Steam? Let us know in the comments below!