Valve has published its yearly round-up of Steam usage data, and the report reveals some interesting information about how the service compares to the PlayStation and Xbox platforms.
Steam’s 2020 data shows that the PC gaming platform has come out on top compared to both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live when it comes to monthly active users.
According to Steam, the PC gaming hub has surpassed 120 million monthly active players, beating both PlayStation (102 million active monthly users) and Xbox Live (90 million monthly active users) in terms of usage.
Recently, we saw Steam break its own record when it comes to the number of concurrent players online, with the service logging over 25 million concurrent users on January 2.
Steam attributes at least some of the uptick in user engagement to the on-going coronavirus pandemic. People being forced to stay home and isolate means better engagement for the platform overall, it seems.
“While Steam was already seeing significant growth in 2020 before COVID-19 lockdowns, video game playtime surged when people started staying home, dramatically increasing the number of customers buying and playing games, and hopefully bringing some joy to counter-balance some of the craziness that was 2020” reads the report.
“This has led to new highs for monthly active users (120.4 million), daily active users (62.6 million), peak concurrent users (24.8 million), first-time purchasers (2.6 million per month), hours of playtime (31.3 billion hours), and the number of games purchased (21.4% increase over 2019).”
It looks like the future will bring more engagement to the platform, too. Steam plans to improve both its sales and discoverability functions, as well as rethink how user rewards work in the service too. There are apparently also user expereince updates in the works that will ‘file down the rough edges that most users encounter’ that are due to drop in the coming months.