EntertainmentGamesWith tens of millions pushed indoors by COVID-19, Steam’s...

With tens of millions pushed indoors by COVID-19, Steam’s numbers soared in 2020


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It was clear fairly early on that 2020 was going to be a giant 12 months for Steam. When February started, Valve’s shopper noticed its first record-breaking user count of the 12 months – and it might go on to interrupt that file virtually each subsequent week for almost two months after that. Due to gamers around the globe being pushed indoors by the COVID-19 pandemic, extra folks than ever had time to play video games on Steam in 2020.

Valve has published some official figures on its previous 12 months, and the image it paints is clearly colored closely by the spectre of the coronavirus and the related lockdowns put in place to restrict its unfold. Individuals wound up enjoying much more video games – there have been 50.7% extra hours performed in 2020 than within the 12 months earlier than, in line with Valve’s stats.

As we famous up prime, extra folks had been enjoying, too – whereas February’s first file, 18.8 million concurrent customers, was a brand new excessive for Steam, the platform ultimately noticed a peak of 24.8 million concurrent players on the finish of the 12 months with the record-smashing release of Cyberpunk 2077.


Steam has revealed some extra attention-grabbing stats – as an example, Steam customers – each gamers and builders – are warming as much as recreation demos. Through the Spring recreation pageant, round 600,000 demo activations came about. Within the Summer time version, that quantity exploded to three.1 million demo activations. Through the Fall pageant, Steam says there have been 5.1 million demos activated.

VR noticed a rise, too – there have been 104 million SteamVR periods, and 1.7 million of these had been first-time SteamVR customers – many probably drawn by the launch of Half-Life: Alyx. Over the 12 months, there was a 30% total improve in VR playtime, and a dramatic 71% improve in VR income on Steam.

Learn extra: the best free games on Steam

It’s unclear what is going to occur to Steam’s participant counts when issues presumably return to a extra regular post-pandemic state. However sensible cash says that Steam will proceed to see progress, notably with the platform gearing as much as launch Steam China with partner Perfect World early this 12 months.

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