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Have you heard about Steam?
If you are a seasoned gamer, chances are you know all about it!
For all of you who don’t know what it is, well…
It doesn’t have anything to do with the hot water and the vapor system created in the late 17th century.
The thing is:
Steam is all about programs and video games… Well, let’s be honest, it’s mostly about video games.
It’s a big deal, guys!
Steam is like an endless library of games where you can come and pick out the ones you like. The latest Steam stats reveal there are a whopping 30,000 games on the platform, as well as 21,000 more items that include software, downloadable content (DLC), and videos.
Steam is not a mere place to buy games – it is also a social platform. Steam Community helps people from all over the world connect with each other via Steam Chat. That way, they are able to share their gamer experience or even form clans and play together.
Steam is available for free to anyone who has access to an email address and is older than 13.
Let’s warm up with some stats first:
Fun Steam Statistics & Facts
- Steam had a total of 90 million active users in April 2019.
- There are around 30,000 games currently available for download on Steam.
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has generated $67 million of revenue on Steam alone.
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had a peak of over 3 million players in January 2018.
- Steam peaked at 18 million concurrent users in 2018.
This was only a warm-up. There is still a lot more to talk on the topic…
Still with us?
Let’s start with the most obvious question:
What is Steam?
Steam is a video game digital distribution platform created by Valve. It was launched originally with the aim of providing automatic updates for their games, but steam download has since evolved by adding games from third-party publishers.
While Steam is mostly used by gamers who wish to download games, it has a lot of other programs to offer, including various media and DLC.
The best thing is that:
Steam is available for use on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Users also have access to:
- Steam Chat
- Steam Community
- Steam Workshop
- Steam Direct
Now that we know the basics, let’s go back in time to see how it all started:
A Brief History of Steam
Steam has gone a long way since it started as a portal for Counter-Strike 1.6. But the success did not come easy. In fact, it took 16 years for Steam to get to where it is now. But it’s well worth it:
These days, you can find a whole bunch of games, including advanced ones like Grand Theft Auto V on Steam.
2003 – September 12, Steam started as a platform to patch games.
2004 – Half-Life 2 released.
2005 – Darwinia and Ragdoll Kung Fu became first non-Valve games.
2006 – The concept of digital sales introduced.
2007 – Steam Community debuts.
2008 – Steam Cloud improves multiplayer synchronization.
2009 – Under $5 and Under $10 categories added.
2010 – Mac Games become available.
2011 – Recommendation widget added.
2012 – Steam Greenlight and Mobile App introduced.
2013 – Family Sharing introduced.
2014 – In-Home Streaming and Family View included.
2015 – Hardware for Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Steam Machines.
2016 – VR category added.
2017 – Steam Direct makes its debut.
2018 – Steam.tv introduced for live streaming games.
And now to the next question:
How Does Steam Work?
Simply put, Steam is a cloud-based gaming library.
Steam users only need to install the Steam engine or app on their computers and create an account. They then get full access to the entire vast library of games, programs, and forums.
The idea is:
You can access Steam through any device as long as you have installed the app. You can also play any game you have purchased. As an extra bonus, you get to save computer memory, as the games are on the cloud rather than your device.
But in order to play games, you have to buy them first… (Duh!)
Even though there are some free games, the best games on Steam cost money. No worries, though. While some newly releases will set you back $50 to $60, there are many discounts, bundles, special sales, and offers. As a result, you can buy a game for as little as one buck.
So, we cleared out some of the basics.
Now let’s jump to the stats!
Interesting Facts About Steam
1. Steam peaked at 18 million concurrent users in 2018.
(Source: PC Gamer)
The developers of Steam probably never imagined how insanely popular this platform would become when they developed it as a convenient way to update games. According to the most recent Steam users stats, the number of concurrent players peaked in January 2018, reaching 18 million.
And that’s not all:
7 million of those users were in-game at the time.
With Steam expanding its gaming offers and adding new technologies to the mix, the service is at the peak of its popularity. In large part, this accounts for the fact that it added 62.76 million new users in 2017 alone, which was an increase of 2.5 million compared to the previous year.
2. Steam delivered a total of 15 billion GB of data in 2018.
(Source: PC Gamer)
It’s not uncommon for people to think games offered on Steam are being downloaded directly from the Internet. But Steam stats and sources reveal that Valve has been building its own private network ever since 2015. It connects to an astonishing 28,000 regional and local networks in 28 cities in 21 different countries around the world.
It gets better:
Valve also reports that their edge network capacity is 12 TB per second, which is equivalent to a whopping 12 million MB per second.
This is just too much to bear.
That’s 15.39 exabytes delivered by Steam in 2018 alone, four times more than a few years ago.
3. Steam had a total of 90 million active users in April 2019.
Earlier this year, Steam reported that it officially reached the milestone of one billion registered users. Although it sounds really appealing that one-seventh of the Earth’s population are using the service, Steam monthly users stats paint a much more accurate picture.
Check this out:
Steam has 90 million active monthly users in 2019, an increase of 23 million from last year.
But there’s a catch:
Steam’s still recent growth as the most dominant PC games platform in the world is largely credited its increasing popularity in China. Currently, 30 million of the active user base comes from the land of the Red Dragon.
4. There are around 30,000 games currently available for download on Steam.
(Source: Rock Paper Shotgun)
PC Gamer recently revealed that Steam currently offers almost 30,000 (or 27,662 to be exact) games for download. Besides some of the top Steam games, they also offer a lot of DLC and non-games software.
This figure is not as fascinating as the fact that more than 50% (around 16,000) of the games have been added in the last two years.
Analysts say that this upward trend has spiked in the last two years thanks to the introduction of Steam Direct. It essentially allows anyone to publish their own games for a deposit of $100 (don’t worry, you’ll get it back if the game turns a tidy profit).
This means 154 new games are added on Steam every day, but not all of them are as popular as, for example, Minecraft in 2019 was.
5. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had a peak of over 3 million players in January 2018.
(Source: Steam Charts)
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, a.k.a. PUBG is an online multiplayer battle royale game that came out in 2017. It is not anything revolutionary, as there have been multiple other games with a similar premise.
It seems that this game has hit the nail right on the head, as its charts have been skyrocketing ever since. The game reached its peak in January 2018 with a total of 3,236,027 players based on PUBG Steam charts.
PUBG has even managed to surpass longtime leaders like Dota 2 and Fallout 4, which are some of the all-time leaders on Steam.
6. Most users on Steam speak English as their mother tongue.
Steam is accessible around the entire globe, and anyone can get on it. All you need is an internet connection and a valid email address. Still, English-speakers are in a majority.
According to Statista’s Steam player stats, almost 42% speak English, with Chinese a distant second.
Here is the list of top five languages used on Steam:
- English 41.94%
- Chinese (Simplified) 19.88%
- Russian 11.31%
- Spanish 4.47%
- German 3.6%
7. In December 2018, Linux market share was at an all-time high at 0.82% on Steam.
Valve’s 2018 report showed that Linux has been gaining ground recently. Ever since the introduction of Steam Play, Linux stock has been on the rise, reaching its highest market share of 0.82% in December 2018, Steam statistics show. In January 2019, the figure remained the same.
This is great news for Steam, as the figure has been as low as 0.28% during its seven years’ presence on Steam.
But watch out for this!
January 2019 figures for Windows show an increase of 0.06%, resulting in a total of 95.92%, while macOS went down by 0.04% to 3.27%.
8. Dota 2 was the first game on Steam to break the 1 million mark of concurrent players.
Dota 2 remains a staple of the community, even with its popularity dropping in recent times due to the release of other titles.
And based on the Dota 2 Steam charts from 2015, it will always be remembered in history as the first game that had over 1 million players playing the game at the same time on Steam.
9. Over 60% of Steam players use Windows 10 operating system.
(Source: Digital Trends)
Generally speaking, Windows 7 still has a greater market share globally. Be that as it may, Windows 10 most gamers’ preferred operating system. Valve recently revealed that 60.62% of active members on Steam are Windows 10 users, favoring the 64-bit version.
Steam stats also confirm that Windows 10 is currently twice as popular as Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions combined), with a 30.93% market share.
10. Steam Indie game sales dropped by 70%, while overall revenue went down by 47% in 2019.
(Source: Screen Rant)
The latest trends in gaming from 2019 do not show positive figures. Till recently, Steam was unchallenged in the field of digital distribution. However, with the emergence of rival companies like Epic Games and the announcement of new gaming system Google Stadia, Steam’s stock will continue to plummet.
Here’s the thing:
Google Stadia statistics predict that this newest system is the way of the future, perhaps making Steam somewhat obsolete.
No way, is this true?
The numbers do not lie. Steam has seen sales of its Indie games drop by 70%, alongside an overall decline in revenue of 47% in 2019.
Additionally, the average game is selling 1,500 copies, down from 5,000 the year prior. Revenue has also dropped from $30,000 in 2018 to $16,000 this year.
11. PUBG tops the charts of most played Steam games currently.
(Source: Tech Spot)
PUBG holds the number one position on the list of the most played games in 2019 on Steam. However, the list has been in a constant state of flux in the past four years. Dota 2 and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have been the two dominating games in the last couple of years.
But what about other games?
Other popular games like Team Fortress 2, GTA V, and Rocket League have also shown potential, as they have been steadily climbing towards the top. But all-time favorites like Counter-Strike are still holding on in the top five. CS:GO statistics place it as third.
And here are the figures:
Most Played Steam Games:
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – 327,476 current (3,257,248 all-time peak)
- Dota 2 – 270,374 current (1,295,114 all-time peak)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – 231,194 current (854,801 all-time peak)
- Destiny 2 – 99,263 current (292,513 all-time peak)
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege – 51,395 current (178,953 all-time peak)
12. MacBook Pro owners top the chart of Mac Steam players.
Steam has conducted a survey to see which device players used the most. It found out Steam for Mac users are predominantly using MacBook Pro, 52.9% of them in September 2019 to be exact.
As far as other Mac devices go, MacBook Air is second with 23.5% of people using it, followed by iMac 18.6%, and Mac mini at 2.1%.
13. VR Headset users surpass Linux users on Steam in 2019.
(Source: Road to VR)
2018 was a great year for VR technology. The holiday season especially was really lucrative for all shoppers. The number of people who use VR on Steam reflects this, as the figure has grown immensely in 2019 to surpass the current number of Linux users.
Take a look at this!
Steam account stats say that 0.91% of PC users on Steam have a VR headset, opposed to 0.82% of people who use Linux.
Current VR statistics confirm that there are 0.11% VR headset users more now than there were a month ago.
But that’s not all:
Monthly users on Steam with VR stand at 871,000, which is 100,000 more to a month prior, and the figure is expected to reach 1,000,000 by the end of 2019.
14. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has generated $67 million of revenue on Steam alone.
Counter-Strike may not be the current leader on Steam, but historically it has been an important game for the platform. It all started with Counter-Strike 1.6. CS: GO is the fourth installment of the series.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive statistics reveal that this version has generated $67 million of revenue on Steam since its release in 2012. It currently stands as the third most played game on Steam (by average players per hour) with 321,410 players.
Counter-Strike: GO had a total worldwide revenue of $120 million in 2017.
In August 2019, CS: GO reached 647,460 concurrent players on Steam.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive had 17.22 million monthly active users worldwide in 2019.
Most recently, CS: GO made a staggering $414 million in revenue in 2018 worldwide.
15. Monster Hunter: World, Rainbow Six: Siege, & Far Cry 5 were among the top selling videogames on Steam in 2018.
Valve’s list of the most played games on Steam in 2018 included some old and expected titles but also some completely new ones. The list is based on the revenue from game sales, downloadable content, and in-game purchases. Unfortunately, Valve hasn’t released any official numbers, simply ranking its games in four tiers – Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
The games ranked as Platinum are as follows:
- Dota 2
- PlayerUknown’s Battlegrounds
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Rocket League
- Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Far Cry 5
- Monster Hunter: World
16. Kingdom Come: Deliverance beats The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on Steam based on concurrent player count.
(Source: Game Revolution)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Steam charts confirm that the game has finally started to slow down. After being released in 2015 and selling over six million copies in its first run and outselling virtually every game on the market, the Witcher 3 has been finally surpassed by Kingdom Come: Deliverance in concurrent player count on Steam.
(Just imagine Superman actor Henry Cavill as the Witcher on Netflix, and you’ll see why!)
Kingdom Come: Deliverance has already reached the 95,863 all-time concurrent player count and gained the title of one of the most popular games currently on Steam.
Even though the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a peak player count of 92,268, it is still considered one of the widely popular games overall, as it has more players on other platforms and consoles.
17. Fortnite tops the charts as the most played game in the world in 2019.
2019 has been yet another very fruitful year for the gaming industry. A lot of titles who got their releases started climbing the charts, with many holding their position as some of the most popular games in the world.
Top 10 games based on peak concurrent player rate in 2019 are:
- Fortnite – 8.3 million
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – 3.2 million
- Dota 2 – 844,713
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – 746,548
- Hitman 2 – 359,772
- Monster Hunter: World – 329,333
- For Honor – 210,795
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege – 176,208
- Grand Theft Auto V – 168,215
- Warframe – 131,766
18. PUBG generated $600 million from 28 million owners on Steam in 2017.
Overwatch statistics say that PUBG topped the list of high earners in 2017 with a smashing $600 million.
(Yes, Overwatch is not on Steam, but PUBG is and those guys are smashing it!)
Did you know:
PUBG helped Steam increase its total income by $800 million in 2017.
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – $600 million
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – $120 million
- Grand Theft Auto V – $83 million
- Call of Duty – World War II – $41 million
- Civilization VI – $39 million
19. Most players on Steam still play in 1080p or lower.
(Source: Digital Trends)
Even though most hardware manufacturers are pushing towards 4K gameplay, most of Steam play is being done in 1080p.
Valve’s latest software survey revealed that 63.72% of members play games in 1,920 x 1,080 (full HD) resolution.
13.33% games prefer using 1,366 x 768 (HD) resolution.
1.14% of gamers are doing it in 3,840 x 2,160 (4K) resolution
And, 3.12% prefer using 2,560 x 1,440 (QHD) resolution.
20. Rocket League reached 59,530 concurrent players on Steam in 2019.
Even though Rocket League has been one of the most popular games available on Steam, its popularity has been dwindling in recent years. In 2019, Statista measured that it had peaked at 59,530 concurrent users playing. This is half as much from its all-time peak of 102,680 achieved in April 2016.
There you have it, folks, all that you wanted to know about Steam.
To this day, it remains one of the most influential digital gaming platforms. You can even credit it as the main reason behind Esports.
Even with the rise of some similar rivaling platforms like Epic and Origin, Steam is going strong. Don’t just take out word for it, that’s what all the Steam stats are for.
As long as there are games to be played, Steam will continue to exist. Since there is no discernible end of gaming on the horizon, it might even live forever.
And if it does, I am certainly not one to complain.