Being a predominantly PC gamer is a worrying past-time. One can’t but move for the articles of “PC gaming is dying” and “See what consoles can do now”. When questioned what the father of consoles has going for it, I only need to think of one word: Steam. That beacon of light that outshines all the minor annoyances of being sat in a desk chair instead of a nice comfy sofa. Beyond my personal experience of seeing more and more friends get down with Steam, here are the figures: During the past 12 months the platform had year-over-year new user growth of 178%, pushing the total number of active accounts to over 30 million. Peak simultaneous player numbers were also up to over three million, with over six million unique gamers accessing Steam each day.
With over 1200 games now on offer, Steam sales during the trailing 12 months increased by more than 200%, putting it on track for a sixth straight year of realizing over 100% year-over-year growth in unit sales. To meet this demand, the Steam infrastructure has been increased and now has ability to run at 400GB per second, enough bandwidth to ship a digitized version of the Oxford English Dictionary 92.6 times per second.
Steam is on track to record the biggest year in its six year history,” said Gabe Newell, president of Valve. “The year has marked major development advances to the platform with the introduction of support for Mac titles, the Steam Wallet and in-game item buying support, and more. We believe the growth in accounts, sales, and player numbers is completely tied to this work and we plan to continue to develop the platform to offer more marketing, sales, and design tools for developers and publishers of games and digital entertainment”
What more can I say? In the ever-popular realm of digital downloads you cannot deny that Steam is the mac-daddy of them all. In my eyes there is one thing more impressive than their weekend sales; the wisdom to know when they’ve done wrong and make amends. The recent occurrence where users were incorrectly banned for “cheating” on Modern Warfare 2 were fully reinstated and given 2 free copies of Left for Dead 2. It takes a pretty brave company to openly apologise and put things right, it’s that attitude that makes customers put trust in the sometimes uncertain digital download market and makes Steam the market leader.