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 Games 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 ten years later there were 4,200 games released on Steam. Which means that 38 percent of games released on Steam between its launch up until 2016 were, in fact, released in 2016. One year later, new releases increased by nearly 3.5 thousand.

Users and usage
Industry sources reported in 2015 that Steam had 125 million active accounts, roughly the population of Japan at that time. Today, the official announcements from Valve confirm, that there are respectively 33 million and 67 million of daily and monthly active Steam users worldwide. In addition, every now and then, on account of special events such as Steam summer or winter sales, or the release of a particularly anticipated new game, the platform experiences a surge in numbers of concurrent users. That was the case in September 2017, when Steam reported reaching 15 million peak concurrent users. At that time the record was broken due to heightened player engagement with the recently released PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. PUBG was also somewhat responsible for January 2018 record of Steam's 18.5 million concurrent users. Some of the previous records, e.g. in January 2017 and June 2014, were attributed to Steam’s special sale events, and other records were credited to devoted DOTA 2 players.

Revenues
Steam’s main revenue stream is game sales. In 2017, the platform generated 4.3 billion U.S. dollars from this service, which is more than double the amount reported in 2014. That year, the leading paid game title on Steam was the aforementioned PUBG, which generated approximately 600 million U.S. dollars in revenue. Grand Theft Auto V was another popular title, which surpassed 80 million U.S. dollar in sales that year. In 2016, on a monthly basis, Steam usually posted highest revenue results in the fall and winter months, with lowest sales recorded in January and February. In fact, December 2015 was the most profitable month for the platform that year, with 436 million U.S. dollars in sales revenue from 60.7 million unit sales that month. On a global scale, the highest revenue shares are attributed to North America and Western Europe, accounting for 34 and 29 percent of the market respectively. Latin America is the region with lowest sales revenue as of August 2017.



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