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Steam Rakes In Almost $1 Billion in 2010

By - Source: FADE | B 43 comments

Needless to say, Steam made big bucks in 2010. Will we go all digital in five years?

If recent numbers gathered by Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment (FADE) are correct, then brick-and-mortar retail shops definitely have something to worry about in regards to physical products vs. digital counterparts. If anything, the numbers show that digital distribution is growing at an incredible rate as gamers migrate to online "shops" like the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and Valve Software's Steam.

According to the firm, Steam alone had an estimated revenue of $970 million USD in 2010. Its biggest-selling game for the year was Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops for $98.2 million followed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for $39.4 million. Its third largest selling game for the year was Valve's own Left 4 Dead 2 which raked in an impressive $36 million. Steam even took in an estimated $213 million in December alone, probably due to its crazy year-end holiday sale.

"Steam's growth has been remarkable during the year," said FADE director of research and analysis Benjamin Schlichter. "Over 180 titles were estimated reaching over $1 million USD in revenue for the year, painting a very healthy market for developers and publishers, with more room for growth in the future."

Here's the top selling titles on Steam for 2010:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision) - $98.2 Million USD
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision) - $39.4 Million USD
  3. Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve) - $36.0 Million USD
  4. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Electronic Arts) - $25.4 Million USD
  5. Sid Meier's Civilization V (2K Games) - $21.9 Million USD
  6. Portal (Valve) - $20.0 Million USD
  7. Fallout: New Vegas (Bethesda Softworks) - $17.0 Million USD
  8. Metro 2033 (THQ) - $13.4 Million USD
  9. Mafia II (2K Games) - $11.9 Million USD
  10. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising (THQ) - $10.8 Million USD

Keep in mind that the Steam numbers only reflect PC versions offered by Valve's platform. That doesn't include other digital distribution services like Direct2Drive, Gamer's Gate, OnLive and so on. It also doesn't include digital versions (if available) hosted on the console networks. But add all the distribution services together and the resulting picture may appear to show physical retailers quickly losing their hold on gamers. Is it any wonder why GameStop and other stores don't want games using Steamworks on their shelves?

It will be interesting to see the numbers at the end of 2011. Retailers will still be able to depend on a chunk of revenue generated by the Nintendo 3DS. And even though the PSP2/NGP device won't have a UMD drive, Sony will still provide software on game cards to be purchased in-store. But with space for PC games narrowed down to just a few shelves, Steam numbers shouldn't be surprising at all.

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    anacandor , February 5, 2011 1:15 AM
    And who said PC gaming was dead?
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , February 5, 2011 12:01 AM
    Makes sense, I much prefer to sit on my ass and click download than have to endure the anguish of going to the store.
  • 0 Hide
    _Pez_ , February 5, 2011 12:26 AM
    hahahaha Well said "applegetsmelaid" Hilarious ! ^.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 5, 2011 12:42 AM
    Some of these games are pretty abysmal. DOW2, COD, yikes.
  • 6 Hide
    4745454b , February 5, 2011 12:48 AM
    The B&M stores only carry the big titles, and thats it. Not only does steam carry them as well, but they also carry many older and indie titles. Add in the sales that steam has, and there is little reason to even consider going to the stores. (I got L4D2 on new years eve for 66% off, or $6.80.)

    Edit: I forgot to mention perhaps the best part of steam. Put your steam folder on a different drive/partition then your OS, and you don't have to worry about losing your games when you reformat/upgrade windows. You can drag that steam folder around at will, and you don't have to stop and reinstall your games. I've moved my steam folder 3 times now, and you just double click steam.exe, it updates itself really quick, and you're back in business. I wish all my other games didn't need to be installed.
  • 3 Hide
    icepick314 , February 5, 2011 12:57 AM
    Steam is great when they're on sale...

    some of the older titles go for under $10...

    and many go for 25% to 75% off as well...

    I picked so many games on last Christmas sale and some of the weekend deals past couple of months in 2011...

    last game I got was Penny Arcade Episode 1 and 2 for $3!
  • 11 Hide
    anacandor , February 5, 2011 1:15 AM
    And who said PC gaming was dead?
  • 5 Hide
    icebug , February 5, 2011 2:26 AM
    I about 160 games on steam and its just super nice to not have deal with putting the disk in the computer to install or worse PLAY the game. If I feel like playing something and it isn't installed yet I just hit download and go play something else for 30 minutes or watch a movie. I don't have to go searching around through storage to locate the case and then keep swapping disks or find that they are scratched beyond use and have to buy a new copy. It just makes sense. Then when you throw on support for in game chat as well as easy server joining with your friends its unbeatable.
  • 5 Hide
    GNCD , February 5, 2011 2:30 AM
    With those numbers, PC gaming will be around for a very long time. Got a little worried with all those articles and forum posts about it being dead or dying.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , February 5, 2011 2:58 AM
    Gamestop employees turned me to steam, with their attitudes and general retardedness. I never looked back. PLUS, with games on steam, I feel that the publishers take better care of their titles to provide updates to their games. I feel confident that if it's on steam, it's going to work.
  • 2 Hide
    f4nt4sm4 , February 5, 2011 3:19 AM
    And the ability to download the game you own anytime you want and sometimes the price beat the crap out of stores. I'm looking at you Office Depot!!!
  • 0 Hide
    agnickolov , February 5, 2011 3:34 AM
    Hmm, none of the top ten games are in my list and I have over 50 Steam games...
  • 1 Hide
    Travis Beane , February 5, 2011 4:48 AM
    I;m not a fan of CoD at all, and I preferred the original L4D. Battlefield was a good investment however. Plenty of wasted hours there. I got it when it was $50, but if you paid close attention, not long ago it was on sale for $6.80 (or something close to that).

    While Steam most certainly isn't perfect, it beats the hell out of losing old CDs and serial keys. Instead, you just have to worry about getting your account banned/stolen etc.

    I do wish however they would state some critical aspects such as a game not supporting widescreen, or the game is locked at 1024x768, maybe even just a little hint when you buy an online game that the total server population is 0 etc.
    I have to run cracks on several of my Steam games just to even use them properly.
  • 1 Hide
    ElMoIsEviL , February 5, 2011 5:43 AM
    I'm getting addicted to Steam. I've got to say that I rather enjoy the service (also the fact that it is not geographically limited).

    The strong Canadian dollar (relative to the US dollar) makes buying games extremely inexpensive (compared to how much EB Games or Future shop/Best Buy charge).
  • 4 Hide
    joytech22 , February 5, 2011 5:49 AM
    Steam is Awesome, I can totally confirm that when the December sales happened I snagged a total value of $300 in games for like $50
  • 1 Hide
    rwpritchett , February 5, 2011 12:59 PM
    And who said PC gaming was dead?

    That was exactly my thought. Every week an article is posted somewhere about how PC gaming is going the way of the dodo. Usually it's blamed on piracy. Almost a billion dollars!
  • 1 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , February 5, 2011 2:25 PM
    192 games and counting on Steam. Damn them and their cool looking indie titles and awesome sales.

    "Oh I'll play it some time, and it's only $5!!".... yea right.

    Awesome service though.

    Steam name Tava... with the Mario mushroom as my picture.

  • 2 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , February 5, 2011 3:31 PM
  • 3 Hide
    thegreathuntingdolphin , February 5, 2011 4:12 PM
    Gamestop employees turned me to steam, with their attitudes and general retardedness.

    Very true. They are either jerks that could care less if you buy a game or not, thieves (swipe games from young kids that are trying to sell them back and sell them for themselves), or creepy as all get out.
  • 0 Hide
    rpgplayer , February 5, 2011 4:18 PM
    wtb a steam client for linux!
  • 1 Hide
    rpgplayer , February 5, 2011 4:24 PM
    Steam for Linux would be the best thing to ever happen to Linux, Wine is crap to play games on.
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