Steam Rakes In Almost $1 Billion in 2010

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.

  • applegetsmelaid
    Makes sense, I much prefer to sit on my ass and click download than have to endure the anguish of going to the store.
  • _Pez_
    hahahaha Well said "applegetsmelaid" Hilarious ! ^.
  • Some of these games are pretty abysmal. DOW2, COD, yikes.
  • 4745454b
    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.
  • icepick314
    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!
  • anacandor
    And who said PC gaming was dead?
  • icebug
    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.
  • GNCD
    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.
  • 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.
  • f4nt4sm4
    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!!!