At some point, we're just going to have to accept the fact that Valve is all. Where once it was merely a humble game developer, it now has a synonymous-with-PC-gaming storefront, its own series of console-ish boxes, a mini-convention, a virtual reality department, the largest collection of virtual hats on Earth, and every number in human history all the way up to 2. Oh, and now it's got its own movie too, because why not? Free To Play: The Movie is a high-budget Valve production about three DOTA 2 pros. Color me intrigued. And also purple. I am feeling very purple right now.
The movie was created internally by Valve, and it's coming to Steam on March 19th. There will also be a legitimate theater premier at the Castro Theater in San Francisco on the 18th, presumably for GDC attendees to meander over to and fall into a drunken slumber during.
Here's what Free To Play - a film not at all about what its name would suggest - is about:
"Free To Play is a feature-length documentary that follows three professional gamers from around the world as they compete for a million dollar prize in the first Dota 2 International Tournament. In recent years, E Sports has surged in popularity to become one of the most widely-practiced forms of competitive sport today. A million dollar tournament changed the landscape of the gaming world and for those elite players at the top of their craft, nothing would ever be the same again. Produced by Valve, the film documents the challenges and sacrifices required of players to compete at the highest level."
I've heard good things about it from folks who've seen pre-screenings, so it might be worth watching. Glossy gaming documentaries are something I'd like to see more of in this world, whether hyper-dramatized (hello, Indie Game: The Movie) or not.
Who's gonna check this one out? I think I will, if only to prepare myself for the inevitable future in which Half-Life 3 is a meta-documentary about what Valve did instead of making Half-Life 3.