Number of Steam users 2012-2020

The online gaming platform, Steam, was first released by the Valve Corporation in 2003. What started off as a small platform for Valve to provide updates to its games has turned into the largest computer gaming platform in the world. As of March 2020, Steam reached a record peak of 20.31 million concurrent users, no doubt in part due to the coronavirus pandemic which swept the world in early 2020.

Not just a place for indie games

In its very beginnings, Steam was a tiny platform that released only seven games in 2004. By 2018, this number stood at 9,050, ranging from Goat Simulator to Grand Theft Auto V. Despite the extraordinary range of games available from tiny indie games to worldwide blockbusters, a handful of games command the most attention from gamers. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was the most popular Steam game in 2018, having reached more than 3.2 million players in a single hour in its peak, almost four times the players of its closest competitor, DOTA 2.

Can Steam keep pace with its competitors?

Steam added approximately 62.76 million new users in 2017, nearly 2.5 million more than in the previous year. However, it seems that all is not rosy with the gaming platform as its user retention rate has steadily fallen in recent years. With console giants, Xbox and PlayStation, continually producing hits and exclusives from the production line, can Steam keep up with the times? Epic Games, the creator of the worldwide sensation, Fortnite, also wants to get a slice of the pie, after launching its Epic Games Store in December 2018 as a direct competitor to Steam. In the continually evolving gaming market, who will come out on top?  

Number of peak concurrent Steam users from November 2012 to March 2020

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

November 2012 to March 2020

Supplementary notes

Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Steam - gaming platform"

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