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Steam gaming platform - Statistics & Facts

Steam is a digital games distribution platform created by Valve Corporation. In its current shape, the platform offers multiplayer gaming, digital rights management, social networking services, and video streaming to subscribers. Steam was first announced in 2003 at the Game Developers Conference purely as a distribution network. It was initially created to solve Valve’s problems with updating their online games, such as Counter-Strike. By late 2005, the platform was hosting third-party games which were made available for purchase and download. The first of such games were Rag Doll Kung Fu and Darwinia. Soon after that, large developers such as Capcom started distributing their games on Steam as well. In 2006, seven games were made available on the platform and, by 2019, there were almost 8,300 games released on Steam.

User peaks

In 2019, Steam had an estimated 95 million monthly active users across the globe, an increase from 67 million just two years earlier. Moreover, since 2012, the peak number of users on the platform at the same time, also called peak concurrent users, has been on a steady increase. In April 2020, Steam reached a record peak of over 24 million concurrent users, no doubt in part due to the coronavirus pandemic which swept the world in early 2020, meaning that many people were confined to online gaming as a source of entertainment.

Biggest games on the platform
The biggest game on Steam in 2019 was PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. The popular game pits up to 100 players against each other in a battle royale fight to the death. Considering the size of each battle, it is unsurprising that the game topped the 2019 list for peak number of concurrent players on the online gaming platform. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds reached almost 1.09 million players in a single hour in its peak, surpassing its closest rival, DOTA 2. Another popular game on Steam is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, part of the hugely popular shooter franchise. Although it was first released in August 2021, the peak concurrent players on the game peaked in May 2020 at almost 1.2 million users.



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