Steam Tops 15M Users, 158% Sales Growth

Valve's PC digital distribution platform Steam now has over 15 million user accounts, with the company reporting a 158% growth in holiday sales over those of the last season.

In today's announcement, Valve trumpeted Steam's free community features, the upcoming release of the cooperative zombie shooter Left 4 Dead, and the recent revelation of Steamworks--Valve's free offering of its internal server tools to all PC developers.

"PC gaming is thriving, and has evolved into an era of constant connectivity," said Valve president Gabe Newell. "That connectivity gives us the ability to have a much better relationship with customers, not just for delivering our games, but across all aspects of our business--including the design, development, and support of our games."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 7, 2008 10:39 AM

    I used to really dislike steam, but I have actually grown quite fond of it over the past year or so.

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      February 7, 2008 10:47 AM

      i really hated it as well. When HL2 first came out, I was so annoyed by it...

      But, this Christmas I bought 3 games from it. :)

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      February 7, 2008 10:50 AM

      I hated it at first because there were so many issues. It seemed like every time I logged in it updated for 5 minutes, crashed at every turn and screwed with my game performance. Most of that is solved now (updates can be disabled, aren't as frequent, higher internet speeds are more common, etc).

      The only real issue that remains is the escape plan if anything went south. Not that steam will die, but I mean even if one specific dev/publisher does and you lose your game unless you have a backup. I'm just curious, as it hasn't happened yet.

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        February 7, 2008 11:07 AM

        if the company who put out a game dies, doesn't the game still stay on steam?

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          February 7, 2008 11:13 AM

          of course

          case in point - Troika and Vampire: Bloodlines

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            February 7, 2008 11:15 AM

            Wrong - activision holds that. They still get money from it, they are the publisher.

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          February 7, 2008 11:14 AM

          How do you figure? That money must go somewhere. Let's pretend for a moment -

          1) Activision dies (theoretical)
          2) Bloodlines now has NO publisher and NO developer, it becomes essentially abandoned
          3) It gets removed from the purchase list because let's face it, the money goes nowhere since no one owns the rights (unless valve owns a piece of every steam game)
          4) Customers who own the game don't lose it, since it's stored locally and can be backed up

          All is well? Now I uninstall steam the day before this occurs. I reinstall. Hmm, bloodlines is dead, cool. I click "install" on Bloodlines in my game list. The game goes to their server and...what? Downloads thin air? No one is paying to host this game anymore. It's dead. Do we get a refund? Of course not, Activision and Troika are dead. Valve doesn't care, it's not their game. So unless you backed it up you are boned.

          Keep in mind this is all theory. I don't even pretend to know how steam's agreements work. Maybe valve will step in and host, but how on earth can they do that for EVERY game to ever come onto steam forever? Not going to happen.

          Also if I backup a dead game, will steam always allow me to restore it even if it's no longer available online?

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      February 7, 2008 11:57 AM

      Still not terribly fond of how slow it is, and that's saying something when you have a 10meg connection. If they can fix that and not limit games to having to play while Online (most games on STEAM are good that way but there's always the odd-ball out there), then STEAM will be fine.

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      February 7, 2008 12:29 PM

      Same. I actually launch ALL my games through Steam now, regardless of whether or not I bought it via Steam. It gives me one nice centralized launch point for all my games and it also lets you use the overlay to message people, see what they are playing and access a web browser all without alt-tabbing.

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