The Year in Review is a mixture of customer statistics and conversations about working with developers using the platform. This year’s headlines are more impressive than ever, even in the context of 2020’s unprecedented growth: 69 million daily active players (good), which equates to 132 million unique users per month, with the highest number of concurrent players at any given moment. 27.4 million people.
In 2021, players spent just under 38 billion hours on Steam, up 21% from 2020, and Valve notes that add up to a whopping 4.3 million years of game time. Later in the post, Valve details the internal infrastructure improvements and provides a graph showing that it provided 33 exabytes of content to Steam users. I didn’t know what an exabyte was either, but Valve warned us: “It’s pretty hard to understand such a large number, but just for fun: 33 exabytes is about how much data you would use if 330 million people in the entire United States downloaded 100 GB game.
The growth is pretty much ubiquitous, with player spending also up 27% (although Valve doesn’t list this in dollar terms), and the platform owner wants to point out that 2.6 million players made their first purchase each time. month in 2021.
Other minor states: New VR users are up 11%, and the latest Oculus Quest 2 hardware release now makes up over a third of Steam VR headsets. Steam players use 48 million controllers, which is just over 10% of daily gaming sessions. A third of the most popular releases on the platform have come from developers that ship on Steam for the first time, and Chinese developers, in particular, have benefited: Valve says that this group has seen “a 300% increase in sales in non-Chinese markets in the past year alone.” .”
Remote Play is also becoming popular, and especially the ability to share local multiplayer games (even for games that don’t have online support) – total gameplay now accounts for 34% of all remote play sessions.
So: Steam is bigger than ever. If you look at 69 million daily active users, that’s more than lives in the United Kingdom. And Gabe is much cooler than the queen. As with exabytes, it can be difficult for you to grasp the scope of the platform.
This scale has, of course, led to things that might once have been unthinkable. Valve’s post is taking its time to celebrate the arrival of “favorite games previously exclusive to consoles from our friends at Sony and Microsoft.” The tone is almost right here, but it’s hard to get rid of the feeling that this is one of the best PC game companies saying, “Look, we told you!”
“There are no bad years for PC gamers, but 2021 was an especially good year. From Days Gone to Forza Horizon 5, PC players have enjoyed an incredible lineup of games from the best console studios on the planet. … This explosion of fresh content is a testament to the open, competitive nature of the PC ecosystem, where players have the widest choice of what hardware to play on, what stores and services to use, and what games to play.”