Steam crosses 40 million users

Valve's online service hits new user milestone; year-over-year unit sales up over 100 percent for seventh consecutive year; Big Picture UI mode on the way.

Earlier this week, Valve's digital distribution platform Steam gathered 5 million concurrent users, a new record for the popular online service. Today, Valve announced additional milestone statistics concerning Steam, led by user base growth to 40 million users, up from 35 million.

Valve has 40 million reasons to be happy about 2011.

Valve parsed other Steam data, too, including mention that in 2011, Steam's library ballooned to more than 1,800 games. In terms of sales, Valve said that for the seventh straight year, the service saw a year-over-year unit sales increase of over 100 percent. Additionally, Valve said 14.5 million copies of Steamworks-enabled games were registered in 2011, up 67 percent from 2010's figure.

In terms of content delivered to gamers, Valve said it served in excess of 780 petabytes (1 petabyte equals 1,000 terabytes) of data to players across the globe, which is double what the company delivered in 2010.

A new Steam service introduced this past year was Steam Trading, a system that allows users to exchange in-game items and gifted titles between themselves. And according to Valve's data, some 19 million items have been exchanged since the program rolled out in August.

Looking ahead to 2012, Valve said it is currently preparing to release the Big Picture user interface mode, first spoken of at the 2011 Game Developers Conference last February. This new mode lets gamers access Steam through their home televisions with controller support and "navigation support designed for television interaction." No release window was announced for Big Picture mode.

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Discussion

82 comments
Arch-Stanton
Arch-Stanton

@Flavorysoup @jamyskis Your lucky you can still buy cheap from retail stores, here in Australia both retail and steam will charge $90-$100 for latest releases.Lucky I can buy titles off ebay in India & Uk for $20 -$40.Check out this link it shows all the prices steam charges in different regions. http://www.steamprices.com/au/

fillup0
fillup0

Just think about how much XBL and PSN owe to Steam, Valve has thought up of so many ideas that pretty much make the base of digital distribution and in some cases, online gaming.

Flavorysoup
Flavorysoup

@jamyskis lol, that's really funny. I was actually in Munich and I found a gamestop there.... didn't go in though. Had too much stuff to do.

jamyskis
jamyskis

@Flavorysoup: That's very true, and I know that very few retail stores carry PC games these days in the States, so GameStop in many cases is one of very few options. (For the record, we ironically call GameStop "GameSpott" here in Germany. "Spott" means a mockery or a sarcastic joke. Says it all really :) )

Flavorysoup
Flavorysoup

@jamyskis oh, I didn't know you were in germany. In that case it would probably be best to buy retail. Steam isn't the best with the euro. I was in europe once and to buy games without spending a crap ton more money than I needed to I used a vpn so I could use USD. Steam thinks 1 USD = 1 EU which costs alot more money. In the US it is a LOT cheaper to purchase on steam unless a retail store has a really good sale.

Adam_GI
Adam_GI

I used to be a big believer In PC gaming and I thank my luck that I got to experience the golden age while it lasted. When Valve first announced Steam, I felt that finally there was a place developers would be safe from the growing monsters that were big publishers and store chains deciding the fate of genuine games… I actually let myself hope and at first it was awesome HL2, CS:S and TF2 were all great games and third-party titles like Darwina, Greed Corp and such were fantastic as well. It wasn’t really until I started buying other titles that were buggy or in the case of JA:2 utterly broken in the transition. Yet they sold them and if you were unfortunate enough to buy them in a fit of nostalgia the strict “Go f*@k yourself” policy Valve takes and the nightmare that is tech support for third-party games is what finally killed off PC gaming for me. Somewhere along the line from HL1 to Episode One they lost their magic. I fully understand that other people have had a grand old time with it, just not me… by a long shot. Also for the life of me I always hated that you couldn’t just turn steam off and still run the games. I mean to run Settlers you have to have Steam running in the background along with the Ubisoft crap as well, who thinks of this evil s^&t?

jamyskis
jamyskis

@Flavorysoup: That's not been my experience. I bought Skyrim on launch day for the PC - in retail - for 40 euros. It's 50 euros on Steam, even to this day. Retail always seems to undercut Steam by 10 euros, and to be honest, a virtual Team Fortress 2 hat is not exactly my idea of an "incentive". A better incentive is to have something physical I can show for my money, which is something a download cannot offer. Besides, I'm in Germany. Only sadomasochists and people with a death wish buy in Gamestop here. Retail is more than Gamestop :)

Pukshd
Pukshd

Valve,newell thank you

megakick
megakick

LOL has 32 million accounts and that is one game? Is 40 million really a lot?

djpetitte
djpetitte

the other nice thing about steam is it keep everythin up to date for you.. know more going out and finding the latest patches.. also pretty much all the games on there work lol and if u play pc games that huge

djpetitte
djpetitte

I even created a steam account for my dad so he could plays the free games on there. Theres actaully a lot of good free to play games on there.

PseudoElite
PseudoElite

So much for PC gaming dying, think they're doing just fine.

Flavorysoup
Flavorysoup

@jamyskis Why wouldn't you buy a full price game? If you game on pc there is a good incentive to pre-order games on steam. At gamepot they charge you 10 dollars extra for a pre-order, on steam they have most games %10 off for pre-order. Why wouldn't you buy a full price game on steam?

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

The amount of good games on Steam is enormous... The only one is missing from Steam is japan-based games....but well,, most Japanese developers is kinda stupid though, if its about developing games on PC.. lol.. :P

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

I also bet a lot of companies are kicking themselves for not getting involved in this, or beating Valve to the market with this. I'm sure there will be some other companies trying to get a slice of the pie, but Steam is already a great service that is only going to get better.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

only just joined when i got my new pc but damn proud of it

Crzy1
Crzy1

Say what you will about Steam, but PC gaming would be in a lot worse shape today if not for Valve creating this platform. I remember being appalled when they announced that Half-Life 2 would require you to install and activate the game through Steam in order to play. But I decided to trust them and installed around the time HL2 was going retail. I've now been a member since October 6, 2004. To see the service evolve from a simple way to get patches and manage servers into a full-fledged game distribution service was quite remarkable. Steam has given me access to hundreds of games that I might not otherwise have heard of and a lot of them are at reasonable prices or come down in price quickly enough to be affordable for a lot of people. It went from something that made me angry to think about to something that I use on a near-daily basis. Hats off to Valve, congratulations on another milestone, you deserve it. Still one of the companies that seems to look out for gamers and developers rather than just investors.

demonkingx5
demonkingx5

keeps on growing with all the deals they have

NoodleFighter
NoodleFighter

@jamyskis The amount of Concurrent users on steam has boosted so your pretty much flawed

PeterDuck
PeterDuck

this is why Valve refuses to release Half Life 3. They make all the money they need from STEAM

dreamcat
dreamcat

I,ve been a member of steam for many years and purchased a small amount of new games at top price (probably 5 or 6 a year), but I like buying the games when they are discounted just to experience them. Also by the time I get those games They have been patched and most issues that were in the reviews are no longer there. Internet speed has increased in the last two years which does contribute to steam doing well...Good luck to you steam I will be a loyal fan as long as you keep offering cut price games and patched new games..(god how I used to hate looking for patches all the time, before I used steam).

Mehfuz
Mehfuz

happy for you steam, loyal fan since 05. btw out of those 19 mil traded items 18 mil came from TF2 :p

LeJR
LeJR

I can understand why people don't like Steam if they only have, like, 1 or 2 games through it. It's just kind of an extra step. But over the years I've bought around 40 games or something like that, and it's truly indispensable.

jamyskis
jamyskis

I use Steam, I'm alright with Steam to a certain extent, but there's no way I'd buy a full-price game over Steam. My reason for using Steam, much like many others, is the holiday sales and because many retail games require it these days. I rarely pay more than €5, never over €10, for a game via Steam. Saying that Steam has 40 million users is rather misleading, because that figure includes all the people who perhaps bought one or two games via Steam and then abandoned it, all those that registered an account and never did anything with it (much like my GamersGate account), and all those who bought retail games with Steamworks on it. There are thousands of empty Steam accounts out there that were used solely for coal farming in recent offers, others exist solely for people to play Team Fortress 2 and the other F2P titles. Funny that Valve should release this figure just after they knew that people would be creating multiple accounts for coal farming. So I ask again: how many of these 40 million are actually paying customers? How many of these 40 million actually have games on their account? How many of them only have retail titles on their account? That is a much more reliable measure of success.

holtrocks
holtrocks

And ppl said PC gaming was dieing.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

I remember I hated Steam when it first came out but It's actually kinda awesome. It's sales are the best bits but apart from that it's a tidy nice hub for all my games to go in.

Rocker6
Rocker6

@SerOlmy In a nutshell,a third party app like Steam required to run many games is what other than a DRM? Sure,its not as bad as always-on DRMs,but its still a DRM...

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@ toddx77 No, I'm man enough to admit that my comment may have seemed a bit harsh to just put your name on top. I love games period, no matter what format they come in. I just get tired of people arguing over which one is "better", and again, I probably took it too far. I've been a part of those types of conversations before as well, and you can't argue with the price of PC games Steam or otherwise. For the third time, apologies if it seemed like I was just trying to attack you. You see people, there can be civility when discussing games.....

PowerstrokeGT
PowerstrokeGT

Im mainly a console gamer, but also play some PC and when I purchase a game for my PC, its on steam only. Best service of its kind out there. LOVE their deals. Gratz to steam! Quality service.

ForsakenWicked
ForsakenWicked

Congratz to Steam. As a PC gamer, I've found it pretty useful.

spOOoOOn
spOOoOOn

I hope they seperate Steam from Valve as a seperate subsidiary. I want more valve games and faster.. It's not like they're strapped for cash with Steam exploding.

X_Colbert_X
X_Colbert_X

Valve, you are the reason I have faith in the industry. Steam, you are the reason I am proud to be a PC gamer.

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

@gelugon I have to disagree with you there as to the used games thing. With the prices Steam can swing in the daily sales, let alone the big multi-day sales, they are going to be cheaper than buying used. The only thing you could really argue is that it stops people passing games to their friends, which is valid, but at least you don't have to contend with the DRM that most companies try to use to accomplish the same thing

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

I have been using Steam since HL2 came out and I have to say each year I buy fewer and fewer games from retail. Steam is just so much more convent. There really is no reason to buy retail anymore, the only game I am buying retail this year is ME3 and that is for the Collector's Edition. I find myself being annoyed when I do buy a retail game if it isn't SteamWorks so I can enter it into my Steam account.

kulka-o
kulka-o

matrix ... here we come

kulka-o
kulka-o

40,000,000 ?!?!? thats almost 1% of THE WORLD!

toddx77
toddx77

@NoodleFighter Spot on there. If MS really cared about PC gaming they could have made steam and even published games on PC as well to make money. But like I said before they want to charge people for xbox live and DLC would you really can't do on PC. Plus they made the original 360's break down easily. The reason they didn't make Halo Wars on PC was probably because than PC gamers would be playing it online for free and since us PC gamers basically said "F U" when they tried charging for games for windows live that was there way of saying "F U" back. I wouldn't be surprised if MS was using GFWL to kill off PC gaming or at least turn PC gamers off from buying those titles on PC. Just think about all the GFWL games: Resident Evil 5, both Batman games, Bioshock 2, Fallout 3, Dead Rising 2, Off the record, Fable 3, just to name a few. Its like MS is saying "you know what? Lets try and turn some PC gamers away from these AAA titles and get them to buy for the 360 instead" Its like MS didn't even try with GFWL. You can't do cross platform play or even send messages to a person playing on the 360 so why even both making the achievements and friends on the same network? Seriously whats the point of telling me that 4 friends are online playing Resident Evil 5 when I can't play with them or even write them a message?

NoodleFighter
NoodleFighter

@toddx77 It almost felt like Microsoft was trying to killing off secretly PC gaming with Games For Windows Live since it hindered the sales of PC games that used it and etc. Even after all the years of complaints about things such as no anti cheat services implemented into GFWL, constant crashing and etc GFWL is still crap even Origin is way better and its not even a year old yet. If Microsoft took the PC seriously instead of treating it as a threat/second class Citizen they could of been what Valve is now with all the money they make off steam which is pretty sad how a third party developer is doing a better job of supporting MICROSOFT WINDOWS PC gaming then the company themselves which really have no excuse since they have game console and are throwing millions to billions into it. If there remake of Live which is coming out with Windows 8 doesn't improve in the areas that matter for PC (we dont give a #%@#% about achievements if the core/important software is crappy) its going to show how low and out touch microsoft is with PC gaming. What happened to all the titles like Freelancer, MechWarrior, and others that microsoft would churn out for PC gamers, now they've pretty muched dropped all the PC titles kicked us in the nuts and took our developers to make games exclusively for the Xbox 360 (Epic Games, LionHead, Remedy, etc) and they showed how much they cared for the Xbox 360 then PC when they made Halo Wars A FREAKING REAL TIME STRATEGY GAME Xbox 360 exclusive.

toddx77
toddx77

@NoodleFighter I don't even understand why Microsoft has GFWL. Microsoft has been clear that the PC is a threat to the 360 and see it as competition so why would you support some PC games than? Microsoft has shown that they prefer the 360 more since they can get a monthly fee from players, charge for DLC even if its $1, and get more of a profit since selling a 360 gives them more money than some buying a PC plus since most PC gamers build their own PC's the only money Microsoft makes from them system wise is when they buy Windows. At least with Origin EA is showing it cares about PC gamers.

toddx77
toddx77

@FallenOneX I didn't think my comment would be taken so seriously lol. Basically when a friend of mine tells me consoles are better and PC should only be used for computer stuff I bring up steam and how much I save on games and that usually ends it. Its basically us being stupid such as: Me: this sucks I have to wait a month for arkham city since the pc version got delayed. Friend: Thats why consoles are better you don't have to wait. Me: I don't mind waiting for it though it just sucks. Friend: Well a game like arkham city is made for a controller so it should be played on consoles. Me: I actually do better with a mouse and keyboard and there's no law that says its made for a controller lol. Friend: Well on consoles you get to play on a big TV. Me: I can plug my lap top into my 32 in TV if I want and I'm getting the game for only $29.99 on seam since I already own arkham asylum on steam And after that they can't think of any counter to try and make me get the console version. So if I was coming across as some PC elitist I wasn't. I play console games too but only for games I can't get on the PC.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@ toddx77 What does Steam have to do with console gaming? Just because you happen to know a bunch of idiots doesn't mean you're correct. PC and Consoles are different markets, marketed towards different people, even if they sometimes offer the same games. I'm a mainly console gamer that can see the benefits of both, you obviously can't. Does that make me better than you??? No, it doesn't. You also had to upgrade at least one component in the same time frame that I played my console games, unless you "over upgraded" your PC a few months/years ago. I see more boards asking for a console game to be brought to PC than I see PC games brought to consoles. Does that mean that consoles have better games than PC? BTW, the answer is NO. How many PSN or XBL games are on Steam? Look, I'm not trying to bring about a stupid comment war about which is better, but at the end of the day, to each their own. There are people out there that would swear that their iPad is better than a PC or console. What would you say to them???

Halloll
Halloll

a few more millions and it will reach xbl and psn. now if steam would let me activate my HL2 game of the year edition instead of telling me I'm in the wrong country. I guess PC gaming now is for people with good internet only.

NoodleFighter
NoodleFighter

Beat it Games For Windows Live no one wants you!! Steam- Robbing you of your money with sales since 2003

toddx77
toddx77

Every time someone tells me console gaming is superior to PC I bring up steam. The argument ends because there is no counter lol.

Godyssey
Godyssey

I honestly would have never started pc gaming if it wasnt for steam. I used to always play on my 360 only, but steam makes pc gaming so convenient.

floridadragon67
floridadragon67

I have actually gotten some co-workers to get Steam on the CPU's (6 last month) just cause of the holiday sales. I mean, it's crazy to get Boderlands and all the dlc's for $7.50, not to mention both Dead Space and MAss Effect games for $5.00 and not be excited. I got more games than I have time to play, but i am making the effort. I know some people have had problems, but I haven't had any, but I still buy games from Amazon (i.e. Starcraft 2, Portal 2, and Batman:AA) becasue they have some awesome deals as well. Steam just makes it easier to play them now (or at least after they download) and get cheaply. Just hope they keep updating and making sure this runs smoothly for years to come.

Rocker6
Rocker6

@Gelugon_baat [quote="You"]Do go one-step further and pioneer the "used digital game" concept, Valve. Then I would be one of your f***ing millions of Valve-bots.[/quote] Nice one,that would revolutioinize the digital gaming concept,and would also very positively reflect on PC game sales.One of the biggest reasons why PC sales aren't as big as console ones(especially in annual release games) is because on PC,we have to be more careful with our money,if we buy a bad game not worth keeping,we can't trade it in,while console gamers can.Great idea :)

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

What did the 40 million users ever do to Steam??? Oh wait you mean Steam now has 40 million users lol