Steam has a billionth user. The lucky account is ‘amusedsilentdragonfly’, according to our sister site Steam ID Finder – see their ‘steamID3’, which shows as [U:1:1000000000].
While it’s ostensibly pretty amazing that Steam’s population now equals almost a seventh of that of the entire world, a significant number of these are undoubtedly spam, scam, alt, and bot accounts. Probably tens, maybe hundreds of millions. One in seven people on the planet are not PC gamers.
The more pertinent number is monthly active users, though, again, some of these are duplicate accounts as CS:GO players jump on their alts, that kind of thing. Six months ago, Valve announced that Steam had over 90 million monthly actives, up from 67 million a little over a year earlier and tying with PSN. That’s amazing growth – even allowing for the dupes – and was fuelled by a surge of popularity in China. Steam’s Asian playerbase is now comparable in size to its US and Western European ones.
According to that presentation in October 2018, Steam has over 47 million daily actives, and set a new record for peak concurrents of 18.5 million, up respectively from 33 million and 14 million just a couple of months prior. Again, China was the driving factor, and that growth is so rapid that it seems pretty likely those records have been shattered since.
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On a related point, TechRaptor also points out that, at Steam’s business update at this year’s Game Developers Conference, 87.5% of Steam transactions in Asia last year utilised non-standard payment methods.
That has big implications for the Steam versus Epic Games Store conflict that is heating up, as Epic’s relative lack of support for alternate payment methods – “approximately 80%” of EGS transactions use credit cards and Paypal, according to its FAQ – and choice to pass transaction fees onto the consumer might inhibit its growth in the clearly lucrative Asian market. Asia may well prove to be the reason Steam stays ahead.