Thirty Million Steam Accounts

By Jim Rossignol on October 18th, 2010 at 4:51 pm.


Valve send us the news that their digital download service has proven rather popular.

During the past 12 months the platform had year-over-year new user growth of 178%, pushing the total number of active accounts to over 30 million, with over 1,200 games now offered. Peak simultaneous player numbers were also up to over three million, with over six million unique gamers accessing Steam each day.

In addition to new user growth, Steam sales during the trailing 12 months increased by more than 200%, putting it on track for a sixth straight year of realizing over 100% year-over-year growth in unit sales. To meet this demand, the Steam infrastructure has been increased and now has ability to run at 400Gps, enough bandwidth to ship a digitized version of the Oxford English Dictionary 92.6 times per second.

Six million unique users each day being the crucial fact there, fact fans. If you’re one of those companies that says there’s no market for PC games, well, the chances you were just doing something wrong.

, .

162 Comments »

  1. Army of None says:

    My god. Steam IS skynet!

    • Luke says:

      So is Obama is going to send Schwarzeneggerback in time to kill Gabe Newell?

    • jonfitt says:

      From Wikipedia so remember to add some salt:
      Xbox 360 sales Worldwide 41.7 million as of June 30, 2010

      There will be some number of those which were second units bought to replace busted ones.

      Quotes from CES 2010:
      Xbox Live “is now an active community of over 20 million people”
      “Between Christmas and New Years Day, Xbox Live experienced its busiest week ever, adding a new member every second and a record of more than 2.2 million concurrent members online.”

    • jonfitt says:

      Whoops that wasn’t supposed to be a reply.

    • Matt says:

      Although steam has higher peak logins, I think x360 is still more popular. I am only guessing, but I think that people are much more likely to log out and turn off a console when they are not using it, whereas people will frequently leave steam logged when not in use.

    • Tei says:

      About “Xbox 360 sales Worldwide 41.7 million”

      There are 1000 millions PC computers. If you are to compare, compare hardware with hardware.

      You can’t compare 41 million Xbox with 30 million Steam accounts, because the first is hardware, and the latest is software.

    • jonfitt says:

      @Tei. Comparing raw numbers of existing PCs has always been meaningless from the point of view of someone trying to gauge the state of the PC as a gaming platform.

      PCs are everywhere, but PCs used for non-browser gaming are not. By looking at users of the Steam platform we can get some idea of the number of people out there who are purchasing games to play on the PC. That is a far more relevant number than the number of people who have access to Spider Solitaire.

      When EA come to decide if they are going to port their latest bland shooter to the PC, being able to compare the gaming PC market directly to the number of Xbox360s has got to be useful. Especially when you can apply that figure of 30m to the Steam Hardware Survey.

    • jonfitt says:

      I’m not knocking browser gaming btw. I play many of the excellent browser games linked to here. But I think we can all agree the number of Farmville users will not impact the number of copies of Crysis2 sold.

    • Kryopsis says:

      “Between Christmas and New Years Day, Xbox Live experienced its busiest week ever, adding a new member every second and a record of more than 2.2 million concurrent members online.”

      There are currently 2,639,714 Steam users online, according to their site.
      In the comparison between Xbox 360 and PC, it is important to note that while the Xbox 360 is the only service on that particular console, Steam is far from being the only digital distributor or game community on PC.

    • Kryopsis says:

      Apologies, I meant to say that Xbox Live was the only service available on the console.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Just thought I would say. My dad has an Xbox 360, but doesn’t play it, he just uses it as a media centre extender. He can’t be the only person who does that.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      I wonder whether Xbox Live user body count includes also windows games live or how that shit is called. I know that I had to create xbox live tag and it logs me in when I play some games on my PC, for instance Fallout 3. Never had xbox360 and never will have, but I have xbox live tag and am logging to that from time to time. I even have some of their fake money. Yeah, the site I’m logging in is called XBOX LIVE and address starts with http://www.xbox.com.

    • Lukasz says:

      okay. so the number is bollocks indeed.
      and huh. so many extremely old steam users here. Forget 156000th place. I am probably not even in first one million.

    • Lukasz says:

      the reply supposed to go into second reply thread not here :D

      my first reply fail.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      “You can’t compare 41 million Xbox with 30 million Steam accounts, because the first is hardware, and the latest is software.”

      Sorry Tei, you’re wrong there.

      You can compare platforms. Steam and Xbox are such platforms. The actual hardware is somewhat irrelevant here since we’re comparing distribution channels.

      You are right to call bullshit if someone starts assuming that steam stands for the entirety of the pc, which is quite obviously not the case.

  2. markcocjin says:

    I’d like to think I was within the first one hundred thousand Steam users. If only they had a user ID that showed what number you were.

    • mpk says:

      My Steam profile is still linked to via my user name, which I guess puts me within the first X amount of signups. I notice these days most people are numbers, not names.

    • markcocjin says:

      There are more combinations of letters than there are of numbers.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Check your Steam ID from within any GoldSrc or Source engine game using the command “status” in console. It will be in the form STEAM_?:?:???????????
      First 2 numbers will generally be either 0 or 1 which represents the type of account you have. The 3rd number is your account ID. The lower the 3rd number, the older your account.

    • Heliosicle says:

      actually, if you into a source engine game such as css, type status in console, you can see it, theyre in order too, I’m around the 1.5 millionth user

    • Lukasz says:

      i created an account on 23th of December 2004. Received Xmas present HL2. wonder how many steam had user then.

    • Lukasz says:

      did the status thing
      got this:
      STEAM_0:0:0 01:51 16 0

      so i am 151160th? not bad i guess/

    • mpk says:

      Hmm. 1.0.0.0/15 4295 for me, account created Nov 2004.

      In my earlier comment, I mean that on the steam website my profile URL is “…/id/empeekay” as opposed to “…/profiles/0000000″ etc.

    • Delusibeta says:

      @mpk I think that’s a custom Steam Community page that you’re talking about. I have one, for example, and I only signed up to steam a couple of years ago.

    • ChampionHyena says:

      I remember being in Steam’s beta, back when you could just play the original Half-Life for free. A while later my account had some major fuckuppery and I had to create a new one. An old-schooler in the spirit of the law, if not the letter.

    • Spectre-7 says:

      Not by my account right now, but I’m something like #7,142. Once had someone in CS asking in surprise how I got my SteamID, seeing as how every other number in Status was several digits longer. I said, “By being old.”

    • TWeaK says:

      My Steam ID is STEAM_0:0:1601908, yet my account was created in Dec 20, 2003. So, going on Lukasz and mpk the number doesn’t go chronologically. My profile site is also a number, although my username is and always has been an email address.

      I think I joined Steam soon after it was first started. Never liked discs, so it was nice to get my HL copy registered so I didn’t have to mess around with it. Also had some dodgy friends who would’ve registered my CD key if given half the chance.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Just an observation. Your exchange here people reminds me NSDAP members, who were bragging about who had the lower number on their membership card.

    • Andreas says:

      I feel incredibly shallow saying this, but 13th of October 2003. Bow to my ancient superiority :P

    • John Peat says:

      I think the status userid thing is bollocks.

      @mpk – 1.0.0.0/15 4295 is the current version of Half Life 2 *donk*

      I joined in 2006 and my User number using the earlier ‘method’ is 7150 – so I think it’s nonsense…

    • Ging says:

      // begin epeen

      “Member since: September 15, 2003″

      // end epeen

    • Eschaton says:

      Ha!
      Member since: September 14, 2003
      I still remember the pain of installing Steam with Half-Life 1, Counterstrike 1.6 and Day of Defeat on dialup using that converter to convert a preexisting 1.1.1.0 install of Half-Life plus mods. Took two goes over a 4 day period.

    • Spectre-7 says:

      Buncha dang newbs. September 12th, 2003. ;)

  3. K says:

    My ICQ-number has seven digits. Yeah!

    • Gotem says:

      people still use icq?
      remember that the number grew so much because on a window reinstall people had trouble remembering his number and registered again.
      still maybe I’ll try my 6-digit number to see if it still works

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Well, what else is there? XMPP/Jabber is a choice. Much more so since Facebook uses it. But:
      MSN/WLM is NOT a choice. Ever. (OK, I’d also never touch Facebook. I still got my privacy. And sanity.)
      And if you even dare to speak of AIM, I shall smite you with a cat-o’-nine-tails made out of AOL CDs! ^^
      Besides: Some people pride themselves in having been on ICQ since the very first beginnings. (My number is only 6 digits long, starting with “45”). And we especially pride ourselves in never having been fallen for the ’tard networks (the ones mentioned above).

    • TheLordHimself says:

      I wish you could hear yourself talk the way everyone else does.

  4. msarge says:

    Good for them. Steam is still my favorite digital distribution service.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      That’s like saying Jack the Ripper is your favorite murderer.
      It’s still a DRM “service”. Which makes it unacceptable to all but the weakest minds of those who can’t reality from fiction (=“IP“).

    • Wowza says:

      So every form of DRM is instantly bad, regardless of whether it actually affects the user or not?

    • Kryopsis says:

      You know, BAReFOOt, I used tothink you were a troll but now I hope that you are a troll.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Barefoot’s been trolling in other articles. Just ignore him.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I suppose you don’t lock up your house or your car etc Barefoot? It’s essentially the same thing. Protecting your belongings.

      Damnit I’ve got to stop feeding the trolls.

  5. Dreamhacker says:

    You think I would even touch that shit if it wasn’t for Empire: Total War?

    Good job holding my games hostage, Valve…

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Of all the possible Steamworks games to be stuck using Steam for, you picked Empire?

      You poor, poor man.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      You kidding? I’m stuck using Steam for Team Fortress 2 And Left 4 Dead! Here’s hoping they come to their senses and remove the need for Steam on Portal 2 and Episode 3!

      ;)

    • LostSoviet says:

      Would you look at that. Empire + Napoleon GOTY from GetGames, as in Eurogamer, as in RPS?

      Choices will set you free.

    • Andreas says:

      RPS and Eurogamer are different, if loosely affiliated entities. And GetGames just gives you a code to register on Steam.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      I’m one of those few rebellious people who could actually look past the weaknesses and enjoy Empire. So sue me :)

  6. Vinraith says:

    I’m surprised it’s that low. Steam seems to be the only digital platform most people are even aware of, which is a real shame.

    • Clovis says:

      Yeah, Steam is the gaming equivalent to iTunes for music. There is a really huge number of people who believe that music (or movies/tv shows) can only be purchased through iTunes.

      The big difference is that Steam at least has great sales. Oh, and iTunes music is completely DRM free.

    • frymaster says:

      that’s 30 million active accounts, presumably total number of accounts is larger (and includes things like people who played counterstrike or TFC back in the days pre-hl2 and haven’t touched pc gaming since)

    • Vinraith says:

      @frymaster

      I’d be interested in knowing what does and doesn’t qualify as an “active” account, is there a procedure for deactivating a Steam account? Does anyone ever follow it? If you don’t use Steam for a certain number of years does your account become inactive?

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’m guessing inactive means it’s been unused for a certain period of time. As for being the only service people know about. Much like iTunes it must be providing a better, or more appealing service than everyone else.

      I know I can no longer stand Impulse, it used to be the DRM free-ish service that I loved. But now it bombards my desktop with adverts like a piece of adware.

    • Vinraith says:

      Much like iTunes it’s the most aggressively marketed, and much like iTunes most people don’t know better alternatives exist.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I don’t think I’ve seen any advertisements for Steam.

      And isn’t it the fault of the smaller guys for not getting their name out there more? In other words, if you want a distributor, are you gonna go with the well known one that gives fair prices to you and will make sure your product gets seen, or the smaller one that may be better for the consumer but they don’t know about it or don’t care to deal with it.

      Also, Steam represents a middle ground for the piracy-paranoid larger developers. It has enough DRM to make pirating it harder, but not so much DRM that it’ll turn away many people like Ubisoft’s draconian thing.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Phantoon

      I don’t think I’ve seen any advertisements for Steam.

      No, you wouldn’t. What you see is lots and lots of ads for Steamworks games (never MENTIONING they’re Steamworks games, of course), and Steamworks being added to more and more huge titles. Foisting yourself on everyone with an interest in AAA PC gaming is one hell of an effective marketing method.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Well I agree with the iTunes thing. But I would like to know of a better alternative to Steam, I’ve tried all that I’m aware of and they’ve all been pretty unbearable.

      It’s also worth taking into account that people want to play on the same service as their friends, that is the most important thing for lots of people. So it has a snowball effect.

    • Vinraith says:

      @DrGonzo

      It’s all a matter of what you want. Perhaps Steam is the best for you, personally I prefer a system without a client at all (let alone a check-in-on-start system), other people might prioritize other aspects of a service. The problem that arises is when people aren’t aware there ARE any alternatives so they don’t seek out what’s best for them.

    • DrGonzo says:

      So they advertise Steam everywhere… But we don’t see them, because they don’t say the games are using Steam… I don’t understand.

    • Vinraith says:

      @DrGonzo

      It’s actually exactly like iTunes. I’ve never seen an ad for iTunes, what you see are ads for Ipods, which happen to require iTunes. The most effective thing Steam can do to get new customers isn’t to advertise Steam, it’s to attach itself to hugely popular AAA games, and that’s exactly what it does.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Steamworks and steam are not the same thing, a game using steamworks != a game using steam.

    • Kadayi says:

      Well that was back in October and Steam had about 3.8 – 4 million concurrent users on at any one time then, so certainly it’s gotten larger. No doubt Skyrim & SR3 shipping with Steamworks helped add a few more users.

      The rule of thumb was that at any point in time you’d have 10% of your world user base logged on any one time. I figure the % is likely higher for Steam (even if I’m not playing, I’m using it as a chat client), but not massively so I’d say (maybe 15%).

      Their definition of active probably extends to within the last 3 – 6 months I suspect. Accounts don’t disappear though if that’s what you think. I have a friend who hasn’t gamed on PC for years Vs consoles (although he’s coming back) but his account still shows in my Steam friends.

  7. mondomau says:

    I think somebody should print out that that little snippet and tape it to a bat, then stand quietly tapping the bat on their palm, waiting for the next analyst / industry mouthpiece / lazy games journalist to start mouthing off about PC gaming being dead.

    • Nick says:

      I’m getting flashes of the ‘team player’ scene from The Untouchables here.

    • ChampionHyena says:

      A man becomes preeminent, he’s expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms, enthusiasms… What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy? Team Fortress! A man stands alone at the control point. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But on the map, what? Part of a team. If his team don’t spawn… what is he? You follow me? No one. Sunny day, the server’s full of spectators. What does he have to say? I’m goin’ out there for myself. But… I get nowhere unless the team wins.

      [bonk]

    • DarkNoghri says:

      This is the first thing that comes to mind:

      http://basicinstructions.squarespace.com/storage/wallpapers/lpthumb.jpg

      Watch this not work because they don’t allow hotlinking….

    • Bret says:

      Yes. A thousand times yes.

  8. rocketman71 says:

    “If you’re one of those companies that says there’s no market for PC games, well, you are completely wrong, and what is worse, you know it.”

    FTFY

  9. Heynes says:

    About time they upgraded their infrastructure. Anytime a popular major release hits the download servers are hammered to a painful crawl.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      If The Sacrifice release is any indication, the upgrade really hasn’t done much.

    • mwoody says:

      I preloaded New Vegas last night, in its entirety, in well under an hour. While surfing the web. On a wireless connection shared by two PCs.

      I went to go check the size of the directory to be sure it was legit, as I was just sure it’d error’d out early or something.

  10. Heliocentric says:

    I knew it, a release announcement was mixed in there. I’m not buying OED until a weekend deal though.

  11. Alexander Norris says:

    PC gaming is dead!

  12. markcocjin says:

    Steam’s last frontier and resource for potential users… poor people, pirates, old people and the unborn.

    Valve still didn’t manage to tap the fratboys and the otaku.

    • Sir Derpicus says:

      Have you seen the 100 gold wrench giveaway contest? a good 15 or 20 was otaku and a good number was frat-boy-name-with-random-symbol-supposed-to-resemble-letter. The TF2 servers I go to always have a nice little chunk of the two niches too. Some of them are even acting in an annoying fashion, to give you an idea of how big steam has gotten.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I’m just waiting for the weeaboos and furries to co-opt each other completely.

      Then, the war begins.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Eh, they’re not too annoying as long as you remember there’s a “mute player” option on the main menu. I generally have a fairly pleasant time on TF2.

    • Bret says:

      I’m pretty sure free Portal and Alien Swarm made inroads on the “poor” front.

      Dead, though, will take a while. Still sore over L4D.

  13. Isometric says:

    30 million steam fans can’t be wrong.

    • Urael says:

      Now if only the gaming equivalent of Galileo would come along and prove otherwise…

  14. Bluebreaker says:

    A shame that steam servers cannot handle very well more than 2,5Million users concurrently

  15. ZIGS says:

    Another fact is, more and more games are being released with Steamworks support, which means you’ll NEED Steam to play them. I haven’t decided yet if this trend is good or bad

  16. Unaco says:

    I, like many others I would imagine, had STEAM dumped upon me when my pre-order copy of Half-Life 2 got delivered by Amazon (via the Royal Mail… so, 2 days after release). I really, really, really didn’t like it at the time. Mainly because I still only had 33.6K dial-up at the time, and all I wanted to do was play my single player Half-Life 2 without having to worry about downloading and updating multi-player bots, or whatever-the-hell else useless (to me, at the time) shite they were updating with. I probably kept it in off-line mode for at least a year.

    Now, however, I actually quite like STEAM. Once I got a broadband connection, the updating was hardly a problem… and not having to worry about that sort of thing is a good thing, for me (I remember I used to have another application, a long long time ago, that you could add games to, and tell it the installation directory, then it would tell you when updates etc were available, as well as video, sound, mouse drivers etc. I really liked that). Being able to add games to it, and have the STEAM overlay is great as well… and also keeps my desktop clean, because I add all my game exe’s to STEAM. Then there’s the mod stuff… I’m a big fan of Dystopia, and having it all intertwined with STEAM as far as achievements and statistics and competitive play is also a good thing.

    Also, I tend not to like/trust digital download sites and systems… but, for some reason (maybe the Kool Aid), I don’t have that reticence with STEAM. And the sales madness is great… Half-Life 2 and The Witcher are the only STEAM games I paid ‘full’ price for.

    So, all in all, I used to not like STEAM very much… now I appreciate it a great deal. Valve have worked well to make it what it is now. Which makes me wonder… What if PowerPlay had actually taken off? What would Valve have made of it (apart from tyrannical control over a rigidly tiered internet, off course)?

    • skinlo says:

      Sums up my thoughts perfectly, except I had 56k dial up ;)

    • Armante says:

      pretty much my thoughts exactly, thank you.

      All I wanted to do was play HL2, so went through the updates on dial-up, and switched to off-line. Somehow, at some point halfway through the game, it went back to online, and got halfway through an update. Just before I had to stop my dial-up account. So, I discover I had no net access, and couldn’t play it anymore until I got back online. AArgh. A couple months I lugged my PC into work and did it after hours.. HATED Steam.

      Now, I like it. Updates and new downloads are quick. Interface is slick enough. Switching to a new PC, I could just download my games again, and carry on where I left off due to the cloud gaming feature. I can buy games on sale without having to trawl through shops. I kinda miss the boxes, but then again just about all my media (photography, music, movies) is in digital format only.
      Plus I get better exposure to Indie gaming. I’ve bought games I otherwise never would have heard of.

  17. Clovis says:

    So, how does this compare to XBox Live or PSN? I’m at work and can’t get to most sites that would have the answer. From what I’ve seen from google results, there are about 10 million XBox LIve users, and they’ve gotten up to 2 mil concurrently using it.

    So, if that is the case, this is definitely pretty impressive.

  18. RyePunk says:

    kill it with fire?

  19. Urael says:

    So…Full Steam Ahead, then?

    /bad tabloid pun to save RPS the indignity

  20. Zecrah says:

    Jonfitt posted further up about XBL:

    “From Wikipedia so remember to add some salt:
    Xbox 360 sales Worldwide 41.7 million as of June 30, 2010

    There will be some number of those which were second units bought to replace busted ones.

    Quotes from CES 2010:
    Xbox Live “is now an active community of over 20 million people”
    “Between Christmas and New Years Day, Xbox Live experienced its busiest week ever, adding a new member every second and a record of more than 2.2 million concurrent members online.””

    I found this regarding PSN:

    “Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today [June 15th '10] announced that the cumulative number of registered accounts on PlayStation®Network has exceeded 50 million worldwide as of June 14, 2010 (Japan Time) [ From an Asian site]. Since its launch in November 2006*1, PlayStation Network has expanded its services to over 58 countries and regions around the globe. The registered accounts on PlayStation Network reached 10 million in 1 year and 8 months from the service launch, 20 million in 2 years and 3 months, and exceeded 50 million in only 3 years and 8 months. The continued growth of PlayStation Network has ensured the successful building of a robust network business platform.”

    • Zecrah says:

      Forgot to add Playstation 3 Sales Figures:

      Worldwide 38.1 million as of 31 June 2010
      ( http://www.scei.co.jp/corporate/data/bizdataps3_sale_e.html )

    • Delusibeta says:

      Registered accounts does not equal active accounts, so that’s the PSN figures debunked. And Steam is officially larger than Xbox Live. (Although I imagine it’s still relatively small fry compared to Battle.net, thanks to World of Warcraft).

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Last time Blizzard sent out numbers of accounts, they said it was 13 million.

      So no, Warcraft is small fry comparatively when Steam has almost half that number in active individual people daily.

    • Nethlem says:

      Don’t forget about multible accounts due to regional locks.

      I have 3 different XBL accounts to access german/uk/austria XBL.
      On my PS3 i even have 4 different accounts HK/US/DE/JP.

      And i’m not an exception, it’s a pretty common thing to do at least on the PS3, on the 360 not anymore because now they region lock based on your IP. But on the PS3 many people have more then 1 account because often demo’s get released earlier on another region PSN compared to their own.

  21. Brian Manahan says:

    But how many libraries of congress can it send per second?

    • Blargh. says:

      I would also like to know this, but unfortunately, high-bandwidth servers are only ever measured in dictionaries per second (dps)

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      Or Peggles per sec (pps)

    • Army of None says:

      Peggles per second… now there’s an RPS throwback. I approve heartily, sir.

  22. Jannakar says:

    “with over six million unique gamers accessing Steam each day.”

    Meaning 6 million people have Steam starting up on system boot and wondering where all their bandwidth goes to when Steam proceeds to download bullshit TF2 update of the day.

    • skinlo says:

      Never had a bullshit update myself?? Maybe you are playing a cracked copy or something?

    • subedii says:

      Right Click > Properties > Do not automatically update this game.

      Or more to the point, if you don’t play TF2 and don’t care about its updates, you could just delete it. Since you know, there’s no point in updating it if you don’t want to play it. Unless of course you want to keep it installed merely to have something to be angry about when Steam takes a couple of minutes to download a new 30 MB update.

      Grief, when did the fact that a company supports its titles with regular and significant content updates become something the complain about?

    • Jannakar says:

      OK, point taken.

      However, my original point which was the the six million figure is rather misleading and seems just to refer to the logins – not the actual number of people playing a game.

      Looking at the current stats, the peak number of players is just over 450,000 over the top 100. However I can’t really tell by looking if these are just the multi-player games or all of the Steam games – no Bejewelled or similar in there for instance, which I would have expected to see.

    • Urael says:

      Heck, Jannakar, Subedii is right: that is kind of a lame point. I’m certainly no Valve Fanboi and Steam irritates me no end (Rich, feel free to back me up on this) but if you can’t untick a few settings then you really shouldn’t be using a PC, in all honesty, for you’re own safety.

    • Vandelay says:

      To be fair to Jannaker, I read it as him referring to stupid people not knowing how to disable automatic downloads/Steam loading up on startup, not that Steam wouldn’t let you disable these features.

    • Archonsod says:

      When they started nerfing all your units and buffing the other guys obviously.

      And the “always keep this game up to date” only works until the next client update. Because you wouldn’t want to keep the same settings, obviously.

    • Jannakar says:

      I would actually really like a bandwidth throttle. I appreciate having the games up to date but there doesn’t seem to be any reason to offer something which I can use to dial down the usage when I want to.

    • noobnob says:

      Jannakar: Steam stats are updated periodically through the whole day and there are visible fluctuations on current users logged in and for each game, so 6 million is actually pretty plausible.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Re: Jannakar, about the bandwidth throttle.

      I’ve participated in/started several threads about this since the new Steam beta (if they didn’t add it then, when would they?), including one thread that started several years ago and has over 15 pages of replies.

      Still nothing.

  23. ShowMeTheMonkey says:

    Well I think I’m up there with the first. I know I had it before Half-Life 2 came out, and I played CS:S beta before HL2 came out.

    I also used to play on CS 1.6 I think which was on Steam. And I remember thinking Steam was pointless. Now, I’m a Valve fan boy….

  24. Jannakar says:

    Ob Python

    [MICHAEL PACHTER leads a cart through the PLAGUE-STRUCK PC GAMES INDUSTRY]
    Michael Pachter: Bring out yer dead.
    [BOBBY KOTICK puts a body on the cart]
    Bobby Kotick: Here’s one.
    Pachter: That’ll be ninepence.
    Gabe Newell: I’m not dead.
    Pachter: What?
    Kotick: Nothing. There’s your ninepence.
    Newell: I’m not dead.
    Pachter: ‘Ere, he says he’s not dead.
    Kotick: Yes he is.
    Newell: I’m not.
    Pachter: He isn’t.
    Kotick: Well, he will be soon, he’s very ill.
    Newell: I’m getting better.
    Kotick: No you’re not, you’ll be stone dead in a moment.
    Pachter: Well, I can’t take him like that. It’s against regulations.
    Newell: I don’t want to go on the cart.
    Kotick: Oh, don’t be such a baby.
    Pachter: I can’t take him.
    Newell: I feel fine.
    Kotick: Oh, do me a favor.
    Pachter: I can’t.
    Kotick: Well, can you hang around for a couple of minutes? He won’t be long.
    Pachter: I promised I’d be at EA. They’ve lost nine today.
    Kotick: Well, when’s your next round?
    Pachter: Thursday.
    Newell: I think I’ll go for a walk.
    Kotick: You’re not fooling anyone, you know. Isn’t there anything you could do?
    Newell: I feel happy. I feel happy.
    [PACHTER glances up and down the street furtively, then silences NEWELL with his a whack of his club]
    Kotick: Ah, thank you very much.
    Pachter: Not at all. See you on Thursday.
    Kotick: Right.

  25. noobnob says:

    Half-Life for 99 cents: the original reason I made my Steam account.

    And I’ve spent over 200 dollars in games on it.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Pretty sure I originally made my Steam account because some Valve game required me to. I remember installing it grudgingly. Now I really just don’t want to know how much the 120 games in my Steam library cost me over the years, the answer would be depressing.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      http://www.steamcalculator.com/

      I don’t really find it depressing, mainly because it uses current prices for the calculations, and I probably haven’t actually paid a third of what it claims. Still, its nifty to look at once in a while.

  26. Lim-Dul says:

    I buy all the games through Steam these days if they are available there. My bandwidth is good these days and Steam is downloading things at maximum speed, usually (not like the olden days). It’s just so convenient to have a library of games you don’t need to look for in dusty cupboards.

    Also – the more people think there’s no market for PC games, the better for Valve and other digital distributors, since everybody will flock to their services. :-P

  27. Urahara says:

    Non-active sign ups might reduce the amount a little, but the PSN still has a remarkable amount of subscribers.

    Steam does have one major advantage in the future. At the next console upgrade, it will still have all of its active members together, whereas PSN and XBoxLive will either have to have a major upgrade or split its members.

  28. salejemaster says:

    seconded!

  29. truestory says:

    So even after robbing so many people with pathetically overpriced games valve still fails to provide a STABLE service.
    Cool.

    • sfox says:

      What overpriced? I’ve saved hundreds of dollars off Steam’s sales.
      Steam is well known for having sales so ridiculous you almost feel like you’re cheating them out of money if you buy.

      If anything, the games on Steam are underpriced.

    • wengart says:

      I’ve payed full price for maybe 8 games on Steam (one of which was the Orange Box) and I have nearly 80 games on the service. All of these I’ve purchased during their sales, especially the rather outrageous Christmas and summer sales.

    • Jeremy says:

      There it is.

    • Nethlem says:

      @sfox
      That’s because you are probably from the US/UK…
      Sure steam sales are great, but over here in germany prices on new releases are horribly overpriced often even more expensive then retail prices. It doesn’t help that it looks like they basicly replace the $ with a € sign when they calculate € prices.

      Sales = great
      Any new release = not so great

      It’s one of the reasons why i don’t have too many games on steam even tho i would love to get them all trough steam. Usually i save like 20€ on a game just by importing it from the UK. And that doesn’t even touch the subject of steam selling censored versions of the games over here in germany because they lack a proper age verification system.

  30. Hmm says:

    In other news, Windows is the most popular OS among PC gamers. With so many games downright forcing you to create a Steam account, it’s not like anyone has a choice.

    Steam is the only digital distribution service an average Joe at least heard of because of exposure in the media. Impulse? Gamersgate? Direct2Drive? “WTF is this?” says Joe. He’ll keep using Steam even if it’s the worst thing in the world, it’s already installed on his PC.

    • Nethlem says:

      Kinda weak excuse…
      Steam is popular because it works, they don’t even advertise. Other DD’s advertise all over the net and still can’t keep up because of other issues. I constantly get spam mails advertising D2D to me, sometimes i even buy there (better pricing on new releases) but in if the price isn’t different and i had to chose between the two i would still use steam because their overall packet is better compared to other DD’s.

  31. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Dammit.

  32. stahlwerk says:

    I’m a fan of facts, thanks for helping me out, Jim!

  33. XM says:

    I remember the first days of steam all too well. HL2 with it’s stuttering problems .exe errors every 15mins. But damm that game was worth it. HL2 and Steam were almost too much for Valve but they did not give in ever. I still got the link to the saga in my favs. http://blep.net/hl2stutter/

    I think it was about a full year before I could run HL2 without it crashing. How times have changed. :)

  34. Anonymous says:

    damn Valve pulled it off, they didn’t giveup on Steam and now thats a huuuge part of their profits.

  35. Scandalon says:

    Anecdote – I went to a LAN party w/ 8 people…none of them used steam.

  36. Simon Dufour says:

    I’m one of those users. I bought 284 games on Steam. I’m an happy user and check it every day.

    Steam is awesome. I gotta prepare for thanksgiving :S

  37. teo says:

    Meh, this doesn’t mean much, I have 10 Steam accounts

    • Brumisator says:

      Why the hell would you have 10 steam accounts, except if you’re hacking games?

      If so, then boo to you!

  38. Vodkarn says:

    “I found this regarding PSN:”

    Just a heads up regarding those numbers (I’ve worked with Sony in the past) they include Development kits and accounts in those numbers. So I have about 35 PSN accounts, according to that.

  39. Carra says:

    The fact that everyone who bought games like Civilization 4 or Napoleon have to create a steam account probably helped them quite a bit.

    That and their weekend deals… Why anyone would want to pay a third more than the retail price for a new game would be beyond me.

  40. Atrophis says:

    Joined 12th September 2003.

    Still remember when Steam was first introduced and there was a massive backlash against Valve for forcing people to use it to play HL. How times have changed!

  41. pipman3000 says:

    pfft. i liked steam back when they were underground.

  42. veerus says:

    hmm… 6 million unique users? does that include me turning on my computer and steam automatically logging on?

  43. Ruiner66 says:

    STEAM_0:0:0 00:12 15 0

    Nov 24, 2004.

    Most people don’t remember or know how terrible Steam was back then. It’s so much better now. It was a burden back then. Painful. Nerd/geek torture.

  44. Shaun Maguire says:

    Same as you. 12th September, 2003. SteamID STEAM_0:0:4888
    But eh. :)

    • Shaun Maguire says:

      That was meant to be a reply to the first thread of comments…stupid.

  45. Pianosaurus says:

    400Gps? 400 giga-pico-seconds? That sounds impressive, put if you think about it, it’s actually just 0.4 seconds. At 92.6 OEDs per second, they would get a total of 37 OEDs transferred. My old personal home server can handle almost an entire second of load.

    • Brumisator says:

      I’m pretty sure it means Gigabits per second.
      Or maybe even Gigabytes.

  46. Bypasser says:

    In regards to the Steam vs. X360 argument – you (most notably jonfitt and Batolemaeus) are comparing apples and oranges. Steam is an optional PC gaming component, whereas you quite obviously cannot play an Xbox 360 game without an Xbox 360 console and an Xbox Live account.

    1 X360 gamer = 1 XLive user, but 1 PC gamer ≠ 1 Steam user. Of course, that is slowly changing with major releases implementing Steamworks, but Steam is still far from equaling to (or actually requiring) mandatory use.

    • adonf says:

      That’s definitely not true, you can have an Xbox and no Xbox Live account. Many people do that, including all those that don’t have an Internet connection at home and my friend who’s too stupid to figure out how to create an account. And you can have many accounts per console as an Xbox Live account is often used as a player profile so if several players share the same console they usually each have their own account (except for my stupid friend and his stupid girlfriend, but all they play is Rock Band Green Day). Also people often create accounts on each region to download demos not available in their area.

      So 1 Xbox != 1 Xbox Live account, but you’re still right about apples and oranges

    • Hmm says:

      With pretty much every AAA release using Steamworks and indie games like Shank and Deathspank to name a few being available only on Steam, you can no longer say that using Steam is “optional”. It isn’t, it’s becoming mandatory if you want to play PC games.
      Valve are ridiculously close to turning PC into a closed platform, which they effectively own.

  47. Assumptionator says:

    Let me put my assumption cap on… okay, there we go.
    Now, ignoring all other platforms, Steam has 30 million accounts. I’d say about 10 Million of those accounts have been logged into within the last 6 months. I’d also say that 15 million of those users have duplicate accounts due to system issues or bans.
    So, approximately 6 million of those accounts are actively logged in on a weekly basis, whether they’re actually playing anything or not is another story.
    And if anyone bothers to check the Steam stats page (a lot of statistical goodness for those statistic freaks such as myself!), they can deduce that their are roughly 2 to 3 million users on at any one time.

    Now, what does this all mean? HECK IF I KNOW! But I suppose it puts things into perspective. :D

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Did you just read the first paragraph of the quote & think “To the comment box! I must post my thoughts with no brain to keyboard filter enabled!”?

      You fail at reading.

  48. MadeOfWaaagggghhh says:

    So can we at least NOW have public console burning and completely move to a unified PC platform gaming age, where the worst you will have to suffer in games is to see an optional, slightly supereasy gamemode pop up in the menu, called “classic console dumb-dumb”, in memory of days of yore?

    No more xxx exclusives, no more crippled PC ports without options or support, no more 6-24 months wait to get the same game consoles with hardware 50 centuries older already got, no more inability to play against someone on the SAME GAME just because their input devices might make them supersuck?

    Could we? Could we? Pwweeeeeeeeeeeeez could we?

  49. terry says:

    PC gaming is dying!!