On Sunday, Valve Software’s popular gaming distribution company Steam broke a record that it had made only a month ago. From 25.4 million users on January 2nd, the company’s number of concurrent users went up by a cool million to 26.4 million. This mostly includes connected users and not the in-game users.
With the Covid-19 pandemic still forcing people to spend most of their free time indoors, the rise in Steam users shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. In its 2020 Year In-Review blog post, Steam said,
“While Steam was already seeing significant growth in 2020 before COVID-19 lockdowns, video game playtime surged when people started staying home, dramatically increasing the number of customers buying and playing games, and hopefully bringing some joy to counter-balance some of the craziness that was 2020.”
Steam has been enjoying consistent growth since August 2020 with its concurrent user record being broken multiple times. Steam was home to more than 120 million users last month, significantly more than Xbox Live and PlayStation Network’s monthly users.
From a way forward standpoint, Steam plans to improve both its sales and discoverability functions, as well as rethink the user rewards system. User Experience updates that will ‘file down the rough edges that most users encounter’ also seem to be in the works and are due to drop in the coming months.
Overall, Steam seems to be set up for a good 2021. However, with the lawsuits piling up, affecting the company’s reputation among consumers and users, the long-term sustainability of the company’s future remains uncertain.
At present, the top games that users seem to be the most hooked to are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Apex Legends, and Tale of Immortal, a Chinese RPG that’s currently only available in Simplified Chinese.
Steam is a video game digital distribution service by Valve Softwares. It was launched as a standalone software client in September 2003 as a way for Valve to provide automatic updates for their games and was subsequently expanded to include games from third-party publishers. Steam also serves as an online web-based and mobile digital storefront.