Lionsgate brings its movie might to Steam

The deal will bring blockbuster titles to the gaming co.'s 125-million-strong user base and taps the fast-growing, worldwide e-sports vertical.
April 25, 2016

A newly inked distribution deal between Lionsgate and gaming brand Valve Corporation will see the media giant bring some its biggest movie, television and digital titles to Valve’s transactional gaming platform, Steam.

The partnership will launch with more than 100 Lionsgate feature films available to Steam customers, including The Hunger Games, Twilight, Saw and Divergent franchises.  More titles will be added as the partnership continues to expand worldwide, Lionsgate reps confirmed in a media statement. Details of the programming launch date have not yet been made public.

Valve’s audience reach via Steam in the fast-expanding gaming and e-sports universe was undoubtedly a factor in closing the deal with Lionsgate, which has been actively seeking to monetize its content across digital platforms in recent years.

“With over 125 million users, Steam represents a unique, exciting and disruptive opportunity to expand our global distribution business,” said Jim Packer, Lionsgate president of worldwide television and digital distribution, in the statement.

In March, Lionsgate launched a comedy-only VOD service Laugh Out Loud, in partnership with Kevin Hart and his prodco, Hartbeat Digital. The company also recently launched the Tribeca ShortList, which specializes in a curated selection of indie and big-budget films selected by celebrity “shortlisters,” and is soon to launch Comic-Con HQ, an action and sci-fi SVOD for comic book fans.

Valve, which is based in Bellevue, Washington, is also in growth mode. Over the past year, the company estimates it has added thousands of titles to the Steam digital video library. Some of the content is free, such as gaming-themed, behind-the-scenes web series and e-sports tournaments. Prices for blockbusters and other programming ranges from $1 to $5 per transaction.

Doug Lombardi, Valve head of marketing, said Lionsgate’s star-driven programming makes it an important content supplier to the platform as the company continues its drive into the VOD space. In September, for instance, the company partnered with Warner Bros. to bring all four of the Mad Max series to the transactional platform, as well as the Mad Max video game.

Steam customers can stream videos on all Steam-supported platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, SteamOS, and, since 2015, in virtual reality via SteamVR.

Valve has been around since the mid 1990s, but, until recently, has primarily operated as a gaming developer. The company is behind critically acclaimed franchises including Half-Life, Counter-Strike (pictured) and Left 4 Dead, and the Steam global social-sharing platform for gamers.


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