One year ago, Valve revealed that it was working with J.J. Abrams on several projects, including movie adaptations of Half-Life and Portal. We haven't heard anything about those prospective films since, but we do have details on another one. Valve has been working on a feature-length documentary that explores the world of competitive Dota 2 gaming. Appropriately dubbed Free to Play, the movie is scheduled to be released March 19 on Steam.
There's a trailer, of course, and it looks pretty good. See for yourself:
Free to Play follows three Dota 2 players as they prepare to compete in a million-dollar tournament. Valve produced the movie, and the production values look very high. It's unclear how much involvement the firm had in filming and editing the piece, though.
Valve is certainly taking center stage on the distribution side. Free to Play will be available for free on Steam. Folks will also be able to buy a Free to Play "pack" that includes a bunch of Dota 2 items. We don't know how much the bundle will cost, but 25% of the proceeds will go to the gamers featured in the movie and to other "contributors." A premiere event is also scheduled for March 18 in San Francisco. Tickets for shindig are selling for $25.
Even though part of me cringes every time gaming is referred to as a sport, there's no questioning the skill, strategy, and reflexes required to compete at the highest level. I'm curious to see if Valve can tell a compelling story about the subject—and in a feature-length format. With a huge digital distribution platform at its disposal, SteamOS set to infiltrate the living room, and seemingly deep pockets, Valve is certainly well-positioned to produce other kinds of entertainment content. You can read more about Free to Play on the movie's official site.