Yeah, course: Steam’s numbers are always going in right direction. But it’s the sheer velocity of the thing that’s exciting. As Valve pull the platform into new shapes with SteamVR, there are now 125 million people using it as a platform for buying and playing games. That means a full fifth of Steam’s current userbase has shown up since September.
Two games in particular might have had something to do with it.
At the end of September, we reported that Steam user numbers had doubled in two years to 100 million. More than a quarter had signed up last year. Since then, more than 25 million nascent PC gamers have turned up too.
Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive can account for some of that. Through September, Dota averaged at 477,998 players per day; in the last 30 days, it’s had 608,099. CS:GO did around 131,000 players a day in September; in the last month, it’s averaged 238,123.
The common link between the two games, Valve aside, has been unprecedented support for eSports and community initiatives. Last year’s crowdfunded Dota 2 International prize pool hit nearly $11 million, and viewer figures for ESL One Cologne were testament to CS:GO’s second wind.
The sheer rate at which Steam has gathered speed, while always appearing to be at the peak of its powers, is bonkers. In October 2013 the Steam playerbase was 65 million strong, and in November 2012 there were just 50 million Steam users.
What was your first Steam game, and when did you get it?