You probably know from earlier today that Valve recently lost their case in Federal Court against the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). If you haven’t caught up on that, you should do so.
But the case has also brought out an extra bit of information: namely, the number of Steam accounts in Australia.
As the ACCC does with all of their media releases, the consumer watchdog provides a bit of background into the case. The background is pretty familiar for most gamers though: Steam is Valve’s digital distribution service, Valve made more than US$3 billion in revenue last year, and there are more than 125 million active Steam accounts.
Something you probably didn’t know: around 2.2 million of those accounts are used by Australians. That figure was filed into evidence by Valve six months ago, according to the ACCC’s media team.
But what’s really interesting is how rapid that figure has grown. When the case was only just starting, it was an accepted fact that there were only 1.4 million users in Australia. Here’s the relevant quote from Justice Jagot’s judgement on September 16, 2014:
In the present case, there are undoubtedly case management benefits for the Court in allowing substituted service. The reason for this is that the evidence adduced in order to establish a prima facie case is to the effect that the alleged representations which are said to be misleading and deceptive or likely to mislead and deceive are continuing; they are being made to users of the Steam platform in Australia, which is said to involve some 1.4 million people.
It’s still highly doubtful that there are, or ever were, millions of individual users of Steam down under. What’s more likely is that the 2.2 million figure applies to the amount of individual Steam accounts originating from Australia.
Nevertheless, it’s a good sign for PC gaming in Australia: around 800,000 extra Steam accounts from the middle of September 2014 to October 2015, or just over 61,538 accounts on average a month.