Steam chugs into movie rentals with huge Lionsgate deal

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Valve’s Steam has come a long way since its introduction in 2002, but while it now offers a massive catalog, it’s still known mainly as a distribution platform for games. That could be set to change thanks to a new deal that suddenly sees the service offering movie rentals.

Today Lionsgate announced a new deal with Valve that will bring over 100 of its movies to the platform. These includes popular franchises like The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Divergent as well as cult classics like the Leprechaun franchise and Escape from New York. The company says that more titles will continue to be added worldwide.

Rentals are available for prices ranging from $4 to $5, and currently offer resolutions up to 1080p. Video rentals are available on any supported Steam platform, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Steam OS, and even Steam VR. Valve suggests at least a 12Mbps connection and a Core i3 processor for 1080p playback.

“We’re delighted to partner with Steam, a leader in the digital entertainment and gaming space, as part of our commitment to remain at the cutting edge of innovation in delivering content to online audiences around the world,” said Lionsgate’s president of worldwide television and digital distribution, Jim Packer. “With over 125 million users, Steam represents a unique, exciting and disruptive opportunity to expand our global distribution business.”

Movies aren’t completely new to Steam, though this is the first time so many have been added at once. Up until now, most of the movies offered via Steam either focused on gaming, or were tie-ins for specific games, like Mad Max: Fury Road, which was offered when last year’s Mad Max game came to the platform. This new move seems to be the first step in taking Steam from a game distribution platform to something much bigger.

“Lionsgate has emerged as a major creative force with a deep pipeline of blockbuster franchises and commercially exciting, star-driven event films, making them important content suppliers for our platform,” Valve marketing head Doug Lombardi said. “Their films are engaging audiences and fostering rich communities around the world, reflecting the kind of high-quality entertainment that we expect to drive the continued expansion of our content offering.”

Availability for the new movies varies based on location, so these rentals may not be offered to some users immediately. To see if they’re available to you, head to the Lionsgate catalog on Steam.

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