Steam concurrent users growing by 300% compared to last year

Tuesday, 29th January 2013 16:28 GMT By Nick Akerman

When you registered for Steam, did you tell your friends to do the same? Did they tell their friends? Valve’s digital distribution platform is going from strength-to-strength, boasting a 300% growth rate across the last year.

Analysis compiled on PC Gamer highlights an impressive rate of progress for the service. Last Sunday, 6.6 million concurrent users were online, compared to 5 million in January 2012. The 6 million threshold was broken in November, meaning Steam is now growing by 300% the speed it was last year.

Dota 2 has a massive part to play in such statistics. Latest numbers show the technically unreleased game enjoyed a peak concurrent total of 237,414 players. Football Manager sits in second with 78,488 players, while Team Fortress 2 finds itself somewhere between 45,000 and 75,000 players.

It seems those spare Dota 2 beta keys are good for something. We don’t know how many of these concurrent users were active, but the signs suggest Steam is gaining greater support by the day. PLEASE SOMEONE TAKE THESE DOTA 2 KEYS FROM ME NOW.



  1. DSB

    It’s gonna be really interesting to see what happens once the new consoles arrive.

    Obviously there’s gonna be a splash and a lot of attention, but I have a hard time seeing consoles dominate like they did back in the mid odds.

    Maybe I’m underestimating them. I just think the stakes have been raised quite a lot over the last ten years for any new device. Even the PC is struggling with tablets and phones doing what they do now.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Talkar

    Worth noting that some users don’t use steam because they want to, but because they are forced to. For example, i have to run BL2 and Civ5 through Steam…

    #2 2 years ago
  3. BULArmy

    Ah I remember the time back in 2004, when everyone hated it. Claimed that it will be the doom of PC gaming. That it will limit it and nothing will be the same again(in bad way). How thing turned out. Sadly, 7 years later people are hating Origin on the same grounds.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    @3 Steam was awful when it launched though. The prices were much higher than brick and mortar, and the client was buggy as all hell.

    It is impressive that EA managed to make a client as awful as Steam was back in 2004 though.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Talkar

    They haven’t though… Origin boast a lot more features, and a much wider array of games in its store. But there isn’t really any point in comparing Steam launch to origin launch since there are so many years in between them. It is like when people compare WoW launch to [insert newly launched or upcoming MMORPG here]xD

    #5 2 years ago
  6. mkotechno

    STFO and reveal SteamOS!

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    @5 The thing is, a client is always going to be presumptuous on behalf of the customer, but I think the key difference is the veracity of that presumption.

    To use Origin and play exclusive EA games, I have to make an account. Do I want to do that? No. Is there any real incentive to do it? No. They lock their games, but that doesn’t make me like them more.

    To use Steam and play exclusive Steam games, I also have to make an account, but I made that one almost 10 years ago, so it’s ready and waiting along with the rest of my games, so it’s really pretty convenient.

    Considering that Steam seems to have 50 or even 60% of the market, I think you can say that their presumption is often going to be less of a stretch.

    One isn’t more or less fair than the other, and they’re both dirty dealers. But the difference is that one has already convinced me to use their service, and the other one hasn’t, and doesn’t seem too eager to try.

    The point of Origin is securing EA 100% margins on their top games, so you’d think they’d be able to compete on price, but instead of rewarding your efforts with a bit of a bargain here and there, they try to sell you an 80 euro digital deluxe edition.

    Do I want a client like that, over one that offers one daily deal and two weekly ones, on top of a range of other promotions? No.

    The presumption that I want to waste my time helping EA by inconveniencing myself, splitting my library, handling another account, all while paying more to do it, while there’s seemingly no appreciation for the bounty they recieve, is simply wide of the mark.

    I can’t say whether that goes for most people, but I like quid pro quo over quid pro nothing.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. PC_PlayBoy

    One of the advantages of Steam is that its userbase will continue to grow. Next gen console userbase will start at zero and will need to work up a following.

    MS/Sony/Nintendo should be shitting themselves and if they’re not, then they should be as the next console cycle won’t be like this gen with regards to the number of consoles sold.

    When Steambox gets released it’ll have 50+ million users ready to play, the PS4/720 will start with zero users and with Android/iOS eating into the console and handheld market its a worrying time for the 3 console firms.

    Consoles are on their last legs. MS/Sony and Nintendo’s business models are ancient, relying on closed hardware, expensive software, the hardware being dictated by the platform holder and only one marketplace to buy games digitally I.e. PSN/Xbox Live/eShop. It’s the stuff of nightmares.

    The market has changed since the beginning of last gen, competition is far, far greater and no doubt MS/Sony/Nintendo will feel it over these coming years.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. theevilaires

    Can’t wait to see this steambox though :D 4 consoles duking it out and it seems Steam already has a huge following/user base. This years E3 is going to explode!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. ManuOtaku

    I will be happier with the steambox console idea if it was different from the steam PC version, regarding the access to the games, if they let you choose keeping the access not always connected to an account, with always connected, i will consider it i really think they should think adding that option to the box version, otherwise some console gamers wont be all the interested they can be otherwise.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Talkar

    Let me start of by saying that i haven’t been home since my last comment, so that is why i’m replying such a long time after you answered my latest reply.

    Anyways. You say that Origin doesn’t offer any incentives, which i don’t think is entirely true. First off it has a somewhat functional web browser, compared to Steams “crash overlay emulator”.
    Secondly Origin has integration integration, which is something i still can’t really come up with a reason as to of why Steam doesn’t…

    Granted, those aren’t many incentives beyond the obvious ones they share (exclusive games and such), and some might not even care about the Twitch integration.
    However, to say they don’t offer any good deals is bollocks.
    For example, at the time of writing NFS:MW (the new one) is dropped from 399 DKr to 249 DKr, and Fifa 13 is the same story.
    Sure they might not offer as many deals as Steam, but considering they have a much more limited array of games so far it really is understandable (how long was it before the first proper Steam sale? I’m pretty sure it was 2007-8 or something like that).

    But you’re right about how Steam has already forced a lot of users (myself included) onto the platform, and we’re forced to stay (as are we with Origin), so it is obviously an easier choice to use Steam than Origin.

    But i think it is curious how Steam launched so long ago, and then along comes Origin which has a lot of the same features Steam does, only they work in Origin, and it actually has some new feature, atleast one that is pretty awesome, that Valve hasn’t even as much as announced, or even hinted at is coming to Steam (thinking of Twitch here).

    Mind you, i still think both are pretty bad for what they truly are, DRM. I despise all kinds of DRM…

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DSB

    @11 I don’t really see the pitch in that. I’ve never even heard of, and I have no idea what a “crash overlay emulator” is. How is that value?

    Not only does EA not offer sales to the extent that Steam does, but it doesn’t offer sales to the extent that the rest of its competitors do.

    The other services I use have a lot of sales. GamersGate run a lot of promotions, and GOG has one almost every week.

    Neither is as convenient to use as Steam, but they offer other advantages, none of which I can get from Origin. GOG in offering a lot of classic games along with a truly unique community, and GamersGate in offering a wide selection of (often shitty, sometimes fascinating) obscure games from all over the world.

    I’m not really interested in excuses as to why EA can’t keep up. Either they provide me with a client that’s worth my business, or they don’t get my business.

    “Build it, and they will come” just isn’t a viable strategy for any service today. Competition is fierce, customers are spoiled, and design is changing pretty much from year to year.

    I think services like Steam, GamersGate or GOG realize that succes is a process, more than a linear result of just throwing money at something.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Talkar

    @12 is a platform that is used for people who streams games, or people who want to watch said streams. It is used for everything from the casual guy showing his friend a game, to high production events such as MLG and Dreamhack streaming those events. It is quite valuable to a lot of gamers.

    The “crash overlay emulator” i was referring to was the browser steam claims to have. I can honestly say that it has crashed more times, and crashed the overlay with it more times than i’ve had successfull experiences with it.

    #13 2 years ago

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