Steam was first introduced in 2003 by Valve to give automatic updates to its games. Since then, it has evolved into a leading digital game distribution platform for publishers and developers.
Operating on Windows, macOS, and Linux, it has millions of users. Aside from games, the platform offers a variety of apps and software, as well as anime, films, and game soundtracks.
But just how big is Steam? And what do we know about the platform’s user base?
Below, we at HostingTribnal look at the most recent Steam stats to answer these questions.
Staggering Steam Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- The number of hours spent playing Steam games has increased by more than half, from 20.8 billion in 2019 to about 31.3 billion in 2019.
- The number of Steam accounts reached one billion on April 28th, 2019.
- Steam accounts for 50% to 70% of all PC game downloads worldwide.
- Steam is the world’s most popular video game distribution service, accounting for up to 75% of the worldwide market and attracting around 20 million gamers each day.
- In 2020, Steam delivered 25.2 Exabytes of data.
- China accounts for 19% of Steam traffic, and the US—for 16.8%.
- On Steam, indie games have made around $6.4 billion.
- The number of reviews about the games in the Steam catalog increased by 300% from 2018 to 2019, reaching 70,000.
Steam Stats to Keep an Eye on in 2021
Here, we look at some of the most important Steam facts about its users, most popular games, and a few other details.
1. Steam was released on September 12, 2003.
Wondering how long Steam has been around?
Steam is one of the most prominent and biggest digital game distribution platforms in the world. Created by the Valve Corporation, it allows users to purchase and play PC games.
The platform was first made available to the general public on September 12, 2003.
2. Steam has 120 million monthly active users in 2020.
Steam has a monthly active user base of 120 million. This is a significant increase of 26.31% compared to the 95 million active users in 2019.
3. There are more than 50,000 games on the US Steam.
Wondering how many games are on Steam in 2021?
At the time of writing, there are more than 50,000 titles available on the US Steam store—and it probably increases as you read this.
This number doesn’t cover every game ever released on Steam. That figure is far larger, as it includes games that have been delisted, whether due to licensing concerns, content limitations, or being blatantly deceptive.
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the largest game on Steam.
(Source: Game Style)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the largest game on Steam based on file size—200GB.
The game received mixed reviews, with some fans hailing it as the finest Call of Duty game and others criticizing it for following FIFA and PES’s footsteps.
5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was the most played game on Steam in 2020.
In 2020, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) topped the Steam ranking for the most concurrent gamers on the online gaming platform, with over 1.3 million players.
Cyberpunk 2077 finished second on Steam charts and was the only other game on the platform to surpass one million concurrent players.
6. PC gamers spent over 20 billion hours playing games on Steam alone in 2019.
(Source: Tech Spot)
According to recent Steam game stats from 2019, PC gamers played over 20 billion hours on that platform alone.
That’s about 1,400 hours per person or 58 days in a year!
7. More than 10,000 games were added on Steam in 2020.
According to recent Steam stats, the platform launched only seven games in 2004, but this figure has been steadily growing over the years.
It reached a stunning 10,263 in 2020, up from 8,033 in 2019. So far, in Q1 and Q2 of 2021, the platform has launched 3,031 titles.
8. Steam delivered a record 25.2 exabytes of data to its users in 2020.
(Source: Venture Beat)
In the year 2020, Steam delivered a record-breaking 25.2 exabytes of data to its users. This was partly due to the pandemic, partly to the December release of Cyberpunk 2077.
9. 48 million players use a controller on steam.
(Source: Steam Community)
Valve reported that the number of gamers using controllers on Steam is greater than ever and growing—48 million gamers have used one in a game.
A controller is used in 10% of daily game sessions, and around 21% of players use one on PlayStation on Steam.
Steam Market Share
Steam is one of the biggest household names in the gaming industry. Let’s take a look at some amazing Steam statistics that reveal its revenue, sales, and market value.
10. Steam witnessed a 21% increase in in-game sales.
(Source: Games Industry)
Steam had 120 million monthly active gamers in 2020, with 62.6 million daily active users. As a result, game sales increased by 21.4% and the total hours played on Steam—by 50.7% year over year.
11. About 100 games account for 50% of Steam revenue.
(Source: Games Industry)
About 100 of the 21,000 games available on Steam generated almost half of the $4.3 billion. In other words, 0.5% of games accounted for half of the total sales income.
In 2017, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds topped the list of biggest earners, making $600 million with 28 million Steam owners.
12. Steam has 62.6 million daily active users.
Steam already witnessed substantial growth in 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. According to recent steam stats, more than half of monthly active users are on Steam at least once a day.
Video game playtime increased drastically when people were forced to stay at home, substantially boosting the number of customers buying and playing games.
13. There was an average of 2.6 million new purchasers on Steam
Steam players spent 50% more time on Steam, and sales increased by more than 21% in 2020 compared to 2019.
According to the latest steam sales stats, an average of 2.6 million new buyers joined the platform each month in 2020.
14. The top 1% of Steam games earn more than $25 million each on Steam alone.
(Source: Into Indie Games)
According to recent Steam online statistics, only 30% of games have more than $50,000. Despite the popularity of Steam, almost 50% of the games on the platform have never made more than $10,000.
15. Epic Games’ popularity is a huge threat to Steam.
(Source: Epic Games)
A new battle has emerged between two gaming giants: Steam vs. Epic Games. Epic Games is a little behind Steam, but it is coming in hot.
Thanks to the immense popularity of Fortnite, its monthly active user base has grown by 75%. Epic Games had 32 million monthly users in 2019—a number that has increased to 56 million in 2020.
The platform boasts over 160 million Epic Games Store PC users. The number of daily active users has increased by 192%, from 7 million in 2019 to 31.3 million in 2020.
Although Epic Games is the most notable one, other Steam competitors are in the game as well—Origin, Itch.io, GOG Galaxy, Uplay, and more.
Steam Demographics: It’s All About the Fans
As a global gaming platform, Steam is brimming with blockbuster titles that entice millions of consumers. Gamers are scattered around the world, sitting behind their computers for hours.
Let’s take a quick look at some Steam user statistics to understand the steam audience better.
16. The US accounts for 14.43% of all Steam users.
Looking at the count of Steam users by country, it becomes obvious that the platform’s popularity in the United States is out of this world.
Thanks to PUBG and Counter-Strike, Steam is becoming well-known in various corners of the world. The gaming industry is booming in China—currently holding 11.64% of its user base.
17. 43% of adult Steam users in the US are between the ages of 20 to 29.
(Source: Statista, Statista)
Looking at the count of Steam users by age, it becomes obvious that the platform is more popular among the relatively younger generations.
This makes sense, given that 38% of video game players are between the ages of 18 and 34, with only 6% being 65 and older.
18. With 26.92 million concurrent users, Steam was on a record-breaking streak in April 2020.
In April, Steam smashed its own record for the most concurrent gamers ever recorded on the platform.
Steam statistics show that before that, the largest concurrent user count on Steam was achieved in April 2020, sitting at around 24 million.
19. Counter-Strike: Global Strike Offensive is the most played game on Steam.
(Source: Steam Charts)
Counter-Strike was first released on November 8, 2000. Since its launch, the franchise has been ruling the gaming charts.
According to recent Steam players stats, users have spent more than 399 million hours playing the game. As I’m writing this article, more than 500,000 people are playing.
20. The number of Steam users in China has surpassed 30 million.
As I mentioned earlier, China is one of the biggest gaming markets in the world. Because of the popularity of Steam in that country, Valve announced a partnership with Perfect World earlier this year to produce a Chinese version of Steam.
The total number of Steam users globally is on the rise, which is good for the gaming industry. “The Scroll of Taiwu,” an indie Chinese-made game, sold over 600,000 digital copies via Steam.
Steam serves as a digital sanctuary for gamers, allowing them to play any sort of game with hundreds, if not millions, of other players from across the world.
The above Steam stats might have given you an idea of how popular the platform is among gamers around the world. Since its debut in 2003, Steam has gained traction, and it’s still growing.