Steam Surges Past 30 Million Accounts with 178% Growth Over Last Year

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Valve revealed figures for its Steam service today that dramatically illustrate its strength in the digital distribution market. Compared to a year ago, Steam added 178% more new accounts over the past 12 months, pushing its total user base over 30 million. These users stay active, too, with over six million of them accessing Steam each day. To meet this increased load Steam has upgraded its infrastructure to run at 400Gps which, as the press release relates, is enough bandwidth to transmit the Oxford English Dictionary 92.6 times per second.

Valve president Gabe Newell said this about the growth:

Steam is on track to record the biggest year in its six year history. The year has marked major development advances to the platform with the introduction of support for Mac titles, the Steam Wallet and in-game item buying support, and more. We believe the growth in accounts, sales, and player numbers is completely tied to this work and we plan to continue to develop the platform to offer more marketing, sales, and design tools for developers and publishers of games and digital entertainment.

In addition, the company's Steamworks publishing services suite, which includes their anti-piracy solution (they specifically avoid terming it rights management), has now been used by over 200 games. Steamworks also enables access to their cloud-based game save system called Steam Cloud. Since starting in 2008, more than 100 million files have been saved using the system.

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From The Chatty

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    October 18, 2010 8:50 AM

    Impulse, Steam, Gamersgate = The Present and Future of PC Gaming Media. Retail is dead.

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      October 18, 2010 9:03 AM

      it wont be missed,

      shoutouts to EB games and their return values

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      October 18, 2010 9:04 AM

      I still prefer boxed copies of my games.

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        October 18, 2010 9:05 AM

        you are a dying breed

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          October 18, 2010 9:09 AM

          Probably, i just prefer physically adding games to my library. Plus when I physically see the game I'm more tempted to replay them.

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            October 18, 2010 9:50 AM

            I see what you're saying, and I'm sort of the same way, but over time we will change. By the time Bioshock 6 comes around we'll be amazed that we ever bought games in stores, same way that by the time Episode 3 hit DVD we were amazed we ever bought movies on VHS

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              October 18, 2010 5:24 PM

              Retail-Digital is not the same as a VHS-Bluray.

              Until the day people digitize food, retail will always be around.

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        October 18, 2010 9:05 AM

        amen to that. If I buy any game collector's edition, I wanna feel it ;D

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      October 18, 2010 9:05 AM

      uh no. first of all steam is great if you are american, not so much in other parts of the world due to their staunch 1 usd = 1 real world currency stance (oh and regional locks and censorship for certain regions ).

      the us pc market is relatively small compared to its console counterpart thus retail space is given to console games.

      europe on the other hand especially germany (ignore the uk, even in terms of games they are americas little ugly brother) is pc country. 43% of all pc retail games sold world wide are sold in germany.
      retail is always cheaper here and it always has shelve space. there is almost 0 incentive to buy digitally beyond 4 packs or preorder bonus for some digital edition.

      paying with credit-cards isnt very common in euroland either which is the reason why paypal and more importantly paysafe payment was implemented recently on steam.


      digital distribution is growing here but in no way retail is dead or will be in the foreseeable future.

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        October 18, 2010 3:58 PM

        It's the opposite for me I live in the US and spend long periods of time in Turkey. In turkey games are very expensive and with Steam I can carry my library with me and buy games for the price I would be spending in the US.

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      October 18, 2010 9:09 AM

      People who say "PC retail is dead" are ignorant of things like the inability to get broadband, or the demand for the base game on a DVD set so you don't have to preload 15 GB on your ISP that has insanely low monthly bandwidth caps. Most developers are ignorant of this because they work and live in a major metro area.

      PC retail is also suffering from bad distribution (in my area, Gamestop hates PC games, Best Buy relegates them to a quarter-gondola at best, and Target only carries WoW, MW2, and The Sims).

      PC retail isn't dead. It's just badly mismanaged, and not as profitable as console retail with their silly promos to jack up the margin on a game box.

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        October 18, 2010 9:15 AM

        listen you dirty asshole, how dare you to make sense in a front page thread? ugh!

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          October 18, 2010 5:56 PM

          hahaha, holy crap that was good... thanks!

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        October 18, 2010 9:22 AM

        i think i saw this same argument for DVD sales

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        October 18, 2010 3:09 PM

        Really? That's odd. My Best Buy have a huge aisle for PC games that is as big as the PS3 and 360 aisles. The only difference is that it's kind of in an obscure location, so unless you are looking for it, you will probably not stumble upon it.

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          October 18, 2010 3:49 PM

          I think it really depends on what the local store manager or retail manager wants to stock. Apparently the managers in the Boston area hate PC games, except for the Best Buy one at Milford.

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        October 18, 2010 7:28 PM

        No. PC always leads the pack tech wise. With Steam, Impusle, etc, the PC is already using a business model that's years ahead of the mass market partially because there's no other choice. Consoles will always crowd out the retail space. That battle has been permanently lost. The infrastructure will steadily roll out and improve. Best to push digital distribution hard now and establish your beachhead there, especially when you are trying to become the defacto standard online platform.

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      October 18, 2010 3:42 PM

      Retail is not dead. Its just clearly not the only option available at this point. I still prefer boxed copies of some games, such as Collector editions or even if I think the art is snazzy or I dont want to wait for the download. There's room for both, which as a consumer is fine by me.

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        October 19, 2010 8:16 PM

        Game retail, much like movie rentals retail, is declining. It's not dead yet, but it will continue to decline. I'd backup any Steam games to a physical disc anyway.

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      October 24, 2010 9:10 AM

      lol, Impulse.

      Who uses that shit? Nobody.