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It Was A Record Year for Steam, Claims Valve

By - Source: Valve PR | B 65 comments

Steam saw over 5 million simultaneous users over the holidays. Business was good too, of course.

On Friday Valve Software boasted that it was a record year for Steam, as the company wrapped up 2011 with more than 1,800 games stocked in the virtual library, more than 40 million accounts created, and a year-over-year unit sales increase of more than 100-percent. Steam's simultaneous user number even eclipsed the 5 million player mark during the 2011 Holiday Sale.

"Steam doubled the amount of content delivered in 2011 vs. 2010, serving over 780 Petabytes of data to gamers around the world," Valve said in an email. "To meet the increasing demand for games and services on the platform, the Steam infrastructure more than doubled its service capacity and a new content delivery architecture was deployed to improve user download rates."

Does this boom in sales mean that non-casual PC gaming is on the rise, returning to its former pre-Xbox/PlayStation 2 glory days? It certainly does look that way, and Valve even claims that over 14.5 million copies of Steamworks games were registered during 2011 -- that's a 67-percent increase over the previous year. What helped push sales were blockbuster hits like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

"Steam and Steamworks continues to evolve to keep up with customer and developer demands for new services and content," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "Support for in-game item trading prompted the exchange of over 19 million items. Support for Free to Play (FTP) games, launched in June, has spurred the launch of 18 FTP titles on Steam, with more coming in 2012. Looking forward, we are preparing for the launch of the Big Picture UI mode, which will allow gamers to experience Steam on large displays and in more rooms of the house."

Eat that, console fanboys.

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    intel4eva , January 7, 2012 6:08 AM
    I don't know about Steam, but I more than doubled my gaming purchases this year. And yea, almost all of it was from Steam, when shit's on sale. Nobody can afford to be a hardcore gamer if they pay 60 bucks for every game. If you play more than a few titles a month (and many are really sweet, but short, like Bastion) the cost of software can eclipse the cost of maintaining a rig.
  • 26 Hide
    rohitbaran , January 7, 2012 6:35 AM
    I bought many games for less than 10 bucks. All hail steam!
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , January 7, 2012 6:12 AM
    thanks to steam i save sooooooo much moneys on games.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    intel4eva , January 7, 2012 6:08 AM
    I don't know about Steam, but I more than doubled my gaming purchases this year. And yea, almost all of it was from Steam, when shit's on sale. Nobody can afford to be a hardcore gamer if they pay 60 bucks for every game. If you play more than a few titles a month (and many are really sweet, but short, like Bastion) the cost of software can eclipse the cost of maintaining a rig.
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , January 7, 2012 6:12 AM
    thanks to steam i save sooooooo much moneys on games.
  • 26 Hide
    rohitbaran , January 7, 2012 6:35 AM
    I bought many games for less than 10 bucks. All hail steam!
  • 25 Hide
    Anonymous , January 7, 2012 6:42 AM
    Gotta love the sales, though I haven't gotten through even a 1/3 of the games I purchased, ha.
  • 15 Hide
    joytech22 , January 7, 2012 6:48 AM
    intel4eva Nobody can afford to be a hardcore gamer if they pay 60 bucks for every game.


    $60? You have it easy..

    Try $89 for a new release here, most stores sell at that price for about a month or two.
    That is the only reason I switched to PC gaming and holy cr*p it was a fantastic choice!

    Better graphics, better prices.. Better experience.
    My 360 is now a DVD player in the lounge..
  • 22 Hide
    amuffin , January 7, 2012 7:00 AM
    Must resist buying games!!!!!!!
    Valve: 50% off of a game I want.
    EVERY DANG TIME!
  • 13 Hide
    zanny , January 7, 2012 7:03 AM
    It might be bad economics for steam in the long run. They are building a brand expectation that almost every game will hit the $10 price point that they stock, and the long term is that more people (myself being my main example) now plan to wait out purchases until they hit the systemic lows 3 - 4 years after release. I got Neverwinter Nights 2 for $5 over the sale, for example, after having bought the first one back in 2003.

    I mean, there is a natural trend of the cost of games towards $0 since the cost of reproduction is so low (thus the rampant piracy) and it seems Steam has proven that exponentially more people buy games at half the retail price outright.

    I think if they just launched games at $30 rather than $60 on Steam, they would have significantly more profits just because a lot of people that pirate new releases due to the insane $60 price point would buy the $30 one, along with a lot of people like myself who wait on the blockbusters to go on sale. For example, Witcher 2. I'm waiting for it to go below $10 (also, waiting on my new gaming rig this summer) because I know it will eventually go that low. If it launched at $30, I might have bought it back in March.
  • 7 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , January 7, 2012 7:14 AM
    PC gaming won't be on the rise until developers stop making crappy console games ported to the PC and start developing for the PC first.
  • 13 Hide
    Target3 , January 7, 2012 7:16 AM
    I use Steam because pirating games is for lowbirths
  • 12 Hide
    Haserath , January 7, 2012 7:37 AM
    target3I use Steam because pirating games is for lowbirths

    Bull's eye
  • 1 Hide
    CKKwan , January 7, 2012 8:20 AM
    I buy original Xbox 360 title here, cost > USD80 for new games, and buying from eBay always falls into the Region lock trap (this holidays alone 4 out of 5 titles can't play because of region lock). XBox title can't even label the region lock clearly. :( 

    I have no choice buy to play pirated. Until steam!
  • -9 Hide
    przemoli , January 7, 2012 11:27 AM
    I think its not "PC Gaming" comeback!

    Its just that more and more ppl get access to NET connections that allow for using Steam + good prices for older games + easy of distribution (if you can coup with english).

    And do not forget MacOSX support. It should add a bit (especially to download stats) since now ppl can get games on their Mac's.

    I wish Valve provided some stats how well/bad MacOSX sales are going (and if they plan to expand more - or if they plan to work with Apple on bringing MacOSX gfx up to date).
  • -5 Hide
    elcentral , January 7, 2012 12:33 PM
    reply to zanny

    yep id say of all the games ho gets out a year id get 1 for the 60dollar prise or like its in sweden 80-85dollar my price range is 30dollar max for a game. this year i got bf3.
  • 3 Hide
    beardguy , January 7, 2012 12:57 PM
    Who in the hell would buy Skyrim on Steam?

    No cool map, no box art, no disc, and lots of waiting ... no thanks!

    I went in Best Buy last night and was saddened by the TINY section of PC games left. I personally don't like where this is headed.
  • 5 Hide
    Trueno07 , January 7, 2012 1:15 PM
    beardguyWho in the hell would buy Skyrim on Steam?No cool map, no box art, no disc, and lots of waiting ... no thanks!I went in Best Buy last night and was saddened by the TINY section of PC games left. I personally don't like where this is headed.


    Steam is Skyrim's DRM, even if you buy the physical edition it requires a steam activation, despite it actually installing the game from the cd. It's nice really, because then I get both!
  • 14 Hide
    wiinippongamer , January 7, 2012 1:42 PM
    Now give us steam for linux
  • 13 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , January 7, 2012 1:44 PM
    I used to pirate games, then I took an arrow to the knee
  • 15 Hide
    TunaSoda , January 7, 2012 2:14 PM
    Put that in your pipe and smoke it origin...
  • 15 Hide
    jimmysmitty , January 7, 2012 2:23 PM
    beardguyWho in the hell would buy Skyrim on Steam?No cool map, no box art, no disc, and lots of waiting ... no thanks!I went in Best Buy last night and was saddened by the TINY section of PC games left. I personally don't like where this is headed.


    I did because in a 900sqft condo you don't really have room for very many game boxes.

    As for the dwindling PC games section, thats because of the decline in sales of physical copies. Steam is just easier. You buy it, its there for good. No need to worry about you disc. Hell I wanted to play GTA III the other day and bam. Just install it and go. No looking for a disc hoping its not scratched.

    Then again I do have a pretty fast connection so that helps make Steam better.
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