Valve revealed at the Casual Connect conference in Seattle that Steam now has 67 million monthly active users. In materials sent to Tom's Hardware, the company also said that its game platform has 33 million daily active users and peaks at 14 million concurrent users each day.
Note that Valve is specifically talking about the numbers of active users--the company didn't just keep a running tally of the number of people who've installed Steam over the last few years. This distinction has become increasingly important for software companies, because investors were burned by companies that crowed about their user numbers even if most of those people didn't actively use the product.
Valve also revealed that it's had 27 million new purchasers since January 2016, with nearly 1.5 million first-time purchasers added each month. This means that Steam is both attracting new gamers and keeping its existing users happy. The former probably isn't particularly hard--events like the Steam Summer Sale make it easy to find new players--but the latter can prove challenging for any platform.
Steam is no stranger to challenges. Users have recently bemoaned a new gifting system that doesn't allow you to stockpile games to give away at a later date, for example, and reactions to the decision to replace Greenlight with Steam Direct have been mixed. (Complaints about the latter were mollified when Steam Direct's publishing fee was kept to a low $100, however, when it debuted in June.)
Valve has also made a bunch of changes to Steam to keep its audience happy. Highlights include requiring developers to share in-game screenshots on store pages, adding support for the DualShock 4 controller, and improving the way customer support requests are handled. Valve's also explained some of the challenges in making a platform for everyone and improved curation and recommendation features.
All things being equal, Valve's numbers show that Steam is getting along well. It's not like Steam is the only platform-slash-marketplace on the virtual block anymore, either, thanks to increasing competition from the likes of GOG and Twitch. If things continue like this, Valve won't have to worry much about Steam losing its... well, you know.
Also, I have a GOG and Origin account for other games like the Battlefield series, Witcher 3, and Fallout 4. Steam has the best community features, but GOG has no DRM. Origin has terrible DRM but games can be found at a huge discount. I do however miss the good old days of PC gaming where you could walk into a store and buy a boxed retail copy of a PC game and not have to use any online gaming portal at all. Plus, I just like having physical media in my possession. I only buy my console games in physical form, not download.
And everyone can just forget about Half Life 2 Episode 3 and HL3. An insider leaker years ago said that Valve scrapped the idea. He basically said every time a team was formed for the next HL project, it fell apart and the project died and it got harder and harder to get another one started. The powers to be at Valve got tired of wasting money and threw up their hands. It's long past time we all just admit Valve died as an active game developer after Portal 2.
Here we are, with the greatest Platform there is still going strong decades after the promised 'death' was supposed to occur. Why is PC gaming so popular? I'd say its simply this, the PC is not an off the shelf knock off built to lock you out, the PC is ownership. I own my Machine, hell almost everyone here visiting Toms has made their own. That degree of ownership doesn't exist for any other platform. Our PC's are what we designed them to be. And no one can take it away from you. Long after the PS4 is forgotten the PC will still be there as it always has been, with the greatest and most extensive library of games in existence spanning 4+ decades.
What about that pay for chance to get gloves one?
It's garbage for idiots but it's there.
It's especially absurd now that consoles have more and more in common with PCs with every generation.
Some if not a lot of that has to do with game developers working with console makers to standardize hardware and make it easier for said game developers to code games for all platforms at the same time instead of having to do special coding for PC, another for the Xbox, and another for the PS3.
Several AAA developers quietly complained about the PS3's Cell processor being frustrating to work with compared to the Xbox 360 and PC although even the XB360 required some changes over the PC (dig around and you'll find old articles and interviews dating back from 2007). And some AA developers gave up on the PS3 altogether. This was also the root cause of why the games were very light to select from in the first several months of the PS3's release.