Source: An interview with Valve marketing VP Doug Lombardi, conducted by Tom's Games.
What we heard: 2007 was a watershed year for Kirkland, Washington-based Valve Corporation. Aside from winning awards with one of the highest-rated games of the year in The Orange Box, the publisher opened the floodgates on its online content distribution Steam. Among the achievements for Valve during the year, the developer signed on a number of top-tier publishers, including Rockstar and Capcom; revamped its community portal; purchased Left 4 Dead developer Turtle Rock Studios; and altruistically released as freeware its suite of publishing tools, Steamworks.
The gaming industry sufficiently conquered, Valve may now be turning its glittering eyes to the music and film industries. In an interview with Tom's Games during this year's Game Developers Conference, Valve's marketing head Doug Lombardi indicated as such in response to what the developer has in store for Steam in the coming year.
"We're looking at more casual games and international games," said Lombardi. "And we're also looking at other types of content like video and music. We're definitely having those conversations and meetings, and we're reaching out to folks with other types of digital entertainment. I think before the end of the year, you'll probably see some pilot programs with other digital entertainment on Steam."
The idea of music and films being digitally distributed online is hardly a new concept, with major players such as iTunes and Netflix dominating their respective fields. Inroads have also been established linking the gaming industry with Hollywood. Namely, Microsoft has signed major Hollywood studios such as Paramount, Warner Bros., MGM, Disney, and many others to distribute their content through the Xbox Live Video Marketplace.
So what could Valve bring to the table? An all-in-one service, for starters. Also, the addition of films and music would significantly expand the developer's reach into mainstream audiences. This, coupled with Steam's more causal-friendly content such as PopCap's Peggle, would make the service ideal for the influx of nontraditional gamers brought into the fold by Nintendo's success with the Wii and DS as well as the growing popularity of online casual games.
The official story: "We don't have any specific announcements to share on this front yet, but we should have a few coming soon."--Doug Lombardi, responding to GameSpot's request for comment.
Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus that Valve has announced any deals to bring music and video to Steam. Not bogus that the company is up to something...