Steam has an enormous player-base which not only makes it the biggest gaming platform on PC but also an overwhelming giant when compared to both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live platforms.
According to data officially provided by Valve in a 2020 yearly review, Steam now sees more than 120 million monthly active players. PlayStation Network and Xbox Live on the other hand are seeing more than 102 million and 90 million monthly active players respectively, based on the last given figures.
The surge however was partly due to COVID-19 and its resulting lockdowns worldwide where everyone resorted to playing games to pass the time. Compared to 2019, Steam saw 21.4 percent more games purchased and 50.7 percent more hours played in 2020. The digital marketplace is also recording an average of 2.6 million new purchasers every month, which is equally impressive.
“While Steam was already seeing significant growth in 2020 before COVID-19 lockdowns,” said Valve, “video game playtime surged when people started staying home, dramatically increasing the number of customers buying and playing games, and hopefully bringing some joy to counter-balance some of the craziness that was 2020.”
In a brief roadmap outlined by Valve for the near future, the platform owner announced that 2021 will see to a number of improvements and features, including the official launch of Steam in China and new user experience…experiences.
- Steam China – Together with our partner Perfect World, the team has been hard at work, and we’re really close to launching this program to bring Steam onshore into China in early 2021.
- User Experience Improvements – We’re looking at filing down the rough edges that most users encounter when interacting with our platform. We want to make it as easy as possible to buy, install, and play games.
- Steam Login – We still plan on refreshing the our Mobile app and making it easier for users to login and keep their accounts secure.
- The Steam Points program – We’re brainstorming more ways to reward users, including folks who aren’t especially interested in Steam Community features.
- Linux – We’re continuing to invest in technology that improves game compatibility and performance through Steam Play. We’re also putting together new ways for prospective users to get into Linux gaming and experience these improvements.
- Steam Labs – Along with iterating on existing experiments, such as 010 – Browse and 012 – Exploring Sales, we’re exploring new ways for players to browse the catalog in the coming year.