Valve have released some of their more notable Steam-related figures for the past year. As you may have predicted, 2011 was yet another record year for Valve’s Steam service. And by record year, I mean “HOHO, RECORD YEAR” alright. You know what? You can’t handle these statistics. Just read on. I dare you.
You bravely read on. I hope you have your anti-statistics suit ready, because these statistics are a bit… EXTREME. Ahem…
During 2011 the platform grew to offer over 1,800 games to over 40 million accounts.
1,800 games. Let that sink in for a bit. There’s a very strong chance that everyone currently reading this article hasn’t played 1,800 games… combined. And 40 million accounts? That’s twice the population of the country of Australia. A country that represents the entirety of the Australian mainland continent. That’s right – there’s more people on Steam than on an entire continent (a continent which coincidentally pays twice for Steam games… come on, Valve!). Sweet mother.
Year-over-year unit sales increased by more than 100% for the seventh straight year, and during the 2011 Holiday Sale Steam’s simultaneous user number eclipsed the 5 million player mark.
Sweet… sweet… I don’t even know. A 100% increase in unit sales? I don’t even know what to say about that. It speaks for itself. But I do know what to say about the 5 million thing. Guess what? At the beginning of 2011, Steam barely hit 3 million concurrent Steam players. And now? Steam has more concurrent users at peak time than Los Angeles’ population.
Meanwhile Steam doubled the amount of content delivered in 2011 vs. 2010, serving over 780 Petabytes of data to gamers around the world. To meet the increasing demand for games and services on the platform, the Steam infrastructure more than doubled its service capacity and a new content delivery architecture was deployed to improve user download rates.
Petabytes, eh. Cool. But apparently 1024 Petabytes are an Exabyte. I don’t know what that is, but let that sink in for a minute. Valve has almost served one Exabyte, and I don’t know what that means (maybe a byte… except it has its own virus so its like… a byte with an exoskeleton), to Steam players around the globe. Incredible.
Over 14.5 mil copies of Steamworks games were registered during the year, a 67% increase over 2010. Steamworks titles shipped during 2011 include The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution , and more. Since the suite of services was released three years ago, Steamworks has shipped in over 400 games.
“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. “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 FTP 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.”
What can I say? Very impressive stuff. Is there really any point to just quoting the numbers again? I’d imagine Gabe and co. are pretty ecstatic right now. Hey, they’ve got the great devs, they’ve got the glorious Steam, and, apparently, they’ve got the crowbars, if this Operation Crowbar thing is right. Which it… probably isn’t. But crowbars aside, congratulations Valve. You guys have had a terrific year, and you truly deserve all this… goodness, I guess. I don’t know what to call it. I’ve already done the money joke, so let’s just go with “goodness”.
Good to see Gabe is still talking about Big Picture mode – frankly, I thought that might have died in the womb, so to speak. But no, Big Picture mode seems to still be in development. Since Valve will be attending CES 2012, perhaps we’ll hear more from them regarding Big Picture at that venue. Very, very interested in hearing how it’ll work. I hope that’s just a working title, though. Sounds kind of… silly. And you can’t really abbreviate it. “BP”? I’m writing about video games here, not oil rigs. Besides, it’s called “steam” for a reason. F**k petrol.
We’ll also have a more interesting article on a different sort of economy, and its quite remarkable statistics, out by the end of the week. An economy that revolves around a certain item that rhymes with the word “cat”. That reminds me… how come we can’t wear cats as…uhhh, in- uhh… oops, I almost gave it all away. Move on, nothing to see here.