30 million Steam-ed

Valve's digital distribution service hits new milestone on the back of 178 percent user growth; unit sales spike 200 percent in last 12 months.


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Valve's online portal Steam has become inexorably linked to the ongoing conversation of digital distribution, so it comes as no surprise that the service continues to grow. Today, Valve announced that its game-delivery and community service now boasts more than 30 million active accounts.

Steam continues to plume.
Steam continues to plume.

The previous 12 months have been fruitful for Steam. According to Valve, user growth is up 178 percent year-over-year during the October 1, 2009, to September 30, 2010, period, and peak simultaneous players reached a high of more than 3 million users. More than 6 million people use Steam daily, the studio noted.

The explosive growth in users has been accompanied by a substantial increase in sales. Although Valve did not provide a specific unit figure, the studio did say that sales increased by more than 200 percent during the past 12 months. The studio also noted that its strong unit-sales growth puts the service on track for achieving more than 100 percent growth for the sixth straight calendar year.

"Steam is on track to record the biggest year in its six year history," Gabe Newell, president of Valve, said in a statement. "The year has marked major development advances to the platform with the introduction of support for Mac titles, the Steam Wallet and in-game item buying support, and more. We believe the growth in accounts, sales, and player numbers is completely tied to this work and we plan to continue to develop the platform to offer more marketing, sales, and design tools for developers and publishers of games and digital entertainment."

Launched in September 2003, Steam currently features more than 1,200 games. Beyond Valve's own catalog of award-winning titles that include the Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, and Portal franchises, Steam includes support from top-tier publishers ranging from Sega to Ubisoft. The service also plays host to a variety of indie-developed titles.

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