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Steam Wants You To Look At Its Muscles

Which reminds me: it's the RPS staff AGM next week

We’ve already seen some minor willy-waving from Valve regarding the bumper 2011 they had with Steam, but now they’re full-on doing The Crab and asking you to admire their big, shiny guns. After ten years in this business I’m a bit bored of saying “only idiots think PC gaming is dead”, so I’ll let this do it for me.

Below: many statistics, and a lie.

  • 1800 games now on Steam. Wonder how many of those I’ve played? At a total blind guess, around 400.
  • 40 million accounts registered. Doesn’t mean they’re all being used, of course. I know I’ve got about four myself due to assorted login-forgetting and review code registering issues and LAN gaming sessions, for instance.
  • Year-on-year sales increased by over 100%, for the seventh year running. Blimey!
  • Simultaneous users topped 5 million during December. Partly due to the holiday sale, Skyrim and MW3, I think.
  • Served over 780 petabytes of data; twice that of 2010. I don’t know how many megabytes a petabyte is, but I presume it’s a lot.
  • Chat Faliszek consumed over 900 live dogs during the development of Portal 2.
  • Over 14.5m Steamworks games were registered, 67% up from 2010. This one is probably the real biggie for Valve, as it means their community/cloud/achievement/DRMy stuff is increasingly becoming the PC gaming norm. Much as Steamworks tends to be useful, its move towards becoming the Xbox Live of PC gaming is something I have mixed feelings about. Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!
  • Steamworks is now in over 400 games. See above.
  • Over 19m in-game items were traded (still only for Portal 2 and TF2, I think?)

Also, Big Picture UI mode – aimed at using Steam on your large TV – is apparently on the close horizon. I’m looking forward to that one, and if it’s good enough I might build a second PC specifically dedicated to TV gaming that boots directly into Steam. BECAUSE I’M A MASSIVE NERD.

(I’d quite like it if they sorted out the technical problems that the last Steam update seems to have introduced first, however. It’s been a flaky old thing for the last few days).

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Who am I?

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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