Steam Sales Double For The Seventh Straight Year

Disproving the power of packaged goods once again, Valve's digital download platform Steam saw another year of massive growth in 2011, with sales more than doubling and the number of simultaneous users surpassing the five million mark. What gets five million people on Steam all at once?

You can blame those damn Steam sales for a large portion of those numbers, the annual deal days bringing in buyers in the millions to partake in the sort of savings retail outlets just can't match.

Over the past year the service has grown to offer more than 1800 games to its 40 million registered users, doubling its server structure to handle the more than 780PB of data served in 2011. A petabyte equals 1000TB of information. I had to look that up.

As their dominance of the computer room continues to grow, Valve looks forward to annexing your living room in 2012.

"Steam and Steamworks continues to evolve to keep up with customer and developer demands for new services and content," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve via an official announcement. "Support for in-game item trading prompted the exchange of over 19 million items. Support for free-to-play (FTP) games, launched in June, has spurred the launch of 18 [such] titles on Steam, with more coming in 2012. Looking forward, we are preparing for the launch of the Big Picture UI mode, which will allow gamers to experience Steam on large displays and in more rooms of the house."

As the PC sections of video game retailers continue to shrink, Steam is only getting stronger. It's gotten to the point where, outside of extravagant boxed collector's editions, I can't think of a single good reason to leave my house to buy a PC game any more. Soon they will devour the market.

Then begins their sinister phase two.


Comments

    Why is there a steamroller in the pic in this article about Steam?

    Oh... ISWYDT.

    Steam is PC gamings saviour.

    My local GAME only has Sims and WoW for PC, and a look through any Dick Smith or Big W catalogue shows that they think PC gamers only play those two games.

    Steam is absolutely brilliant at what they do, and have made about 90% of my game purchases from Steam rather than retail.

    Example: Steam Christmas and New year sale, L.A. Noire for $20. JB HiFi wanted $80. That's a $60 saving over a physical disk and a case.

    Now I don't know about you, but anyone who actually wants to spend $60 on a single disk and a DVD case is absolutely mental.

    I should not that the version of the game was exactly the same in both retailers.

    the PC section in retail continues to shrink because they charge excessive prices. i buy hardly any games retail anymore because i know that i can go onto steam/ozgameshop.com and get the games sometimes for half the price. the distributors have to realise that their own mark up is killing their own market in the long run.

      This. Why don't the people of the stores adapt to changing market conditions? Everyone in every other industry has to, they shouldn't be exempt. Look into online distribution people, don't try to force us all to prop up your failing buisness model.

        Because they're owned by old men and shareholders who lack vision and innovation. See Gerry Harvey's famous backpedal, too late for the greedy old bugger in my book. But then Harvey Norman also supports the logging of non-renewable native forests so he can eat shit and die for that too.

    Aside from the publishers setting higher prices for those using Steam and living in the land down under (a.k.a regional pricing, which is mostly easy to get around anyway, such as using GMG or waiting for sales), Steam has been a God-send, and I don't even remember how I managed to live without it.
    If it weren't for the fact that I need it for BF3, I'd have gotten rid of Origin ages ago- in terms of functionality and pricing, it's fairly obvious who wins out.

    Heck, there's hardly any boxed PC limited editions these days.

      "Heck, there’s hardly any boxed PC limited editions these days."

      Most games that get CE's or LE's often get them on PC still with only a few exceptions and the only recent one I can think of is Batman AC.

        The only store bought PC game I'll be getting this year will be Diablo III Collector's Ed. Otherwise, I'll just hang around for the Steam sales. I buy so many, I have more than enough to play while I'm waiting for the next sale.

    First Bungie, then Google and now Steam? Why does every IT related company I like turn out to be plotting world domination?!?

    "more than 1800 games to its 40 million registered users"

    Heh! Good luck, Origin. You're gonna need it.

    On that note, go Steam!

    My friends hate steam.
    I say I hate downloading 3 extra programs just to run a store-bought game.

    To each their own.

      Well your friends a stupid heads and smell funny!

      Tell 'em that! That'll put them in their place!

      Honeslty my gaming friends are divided in half.
      I have those who ar on Steam and have been for years, and those (who i thought were hardcore gamers) who play wow and starcraft and had never even heard of Steam till Skyrim required it.
      And honestly when I heard how many of these hardcore gamers hadn't even heard of steam I was amazed. Perhaps it's because these are the same people who buy full priced games for consoles....

    Steam is great for older games, but while scumbag publishers keep adding the Australia tax to online purchases I'll keep buying new stuff from JB.

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