Steam might be heading for some trouble in the future according to a recent SteamSpy report on Steam user numbers. According to SteamSpy, the number of people playing games on Steam and even having Steam open on their computers has been decreasing since January of this year, but why is that?
We can possibly tell that a significant portion of the drop-off might come from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds losing a great deal of popularity in the face of Fortnite. If a lot of people made Steam accounts just to play PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the fact that Fortnite is now more popular and better made would definitely contribute to the drop off.
Unfortunately, according to SteamSpy, the decline in PUBG’s popularity is smaller than the total decrease in Steam user numbers. The loss as a whole is around four million users, while the PUBG loss would only account for around 1.9 million of that. While it’s possible that it would also be former PUBG players who try other games but eventually stopped using Steam, there’s no indication of what drop offs are for what reason.
New games are coming to Steam all the time of varying quality, and there haven’t (apparently) been any big leaks or hacks in recent memory. While it’s possible that the drop-off could be because people are either on vacation or enjoying their summer doing things other than playing games (blasphemy, I know), there’s never quite been a drop off this bad before.
Maybe Steam user numbers will go back up as autumn comes around, possibly when the Autumn Sale starts up and for the next several weeks or months afterward, but there’s no indication yet of what exactly is causing the Steam user numbers to drop. SteamSpy will likely continue to keep an eye on the numbers and see how they move, but you can see the actual graph here.