Those that say that PC gaming is dying may have to graciously steer clear of this news, or stick their fingers in their ears and pretend it’s not happening.
The juggernaut that is Steam has, for the first time ever, surpassed seven million concurrent users logged in to Valve’s seemingly unstoppable content delivery system…
Just eleven months ago in January came the big news that Steam had topped six million users, but it doesn’t show any sign of slowing yet as a further two million concurrent users ploughed in for Steam’s Autumn sale.
While seven million is a massive figure, it’s expected that the number of people actually playing a game was far lower thanks to the Steam clients automatic login features. Most other content delivery platforms don’t have stat-tracking software or push ‘always-on’ clients so it’s unknown exactly how successful Steam is in comparison to rival stores such as Good Old Games, the new Humble Store, and Green Man Gaming, although it's been estimated that 75% of all digital games are bought through Steam.
“Digital distribution is still in its infancy. There are an increased number of options available and we believe this can only be a good thing for the consumer,” says Darren Cairns, EVP of marketing at Green Man Gaming. “The new model of digital distribution and our focus on the core gamer has meant that a small UK-based company can grow to become No.2 in the global PC download market in three years.”
Dota 2 is of course still the most popular game on Steam, regularly clocking up over half a million concurrent players, while other Valve offshoots Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2 are the second and third most played titles, clocking in well under 100,000 players concurrently.
Steam currently has 65 million registered users worldwide, a huge amount but still some way to go if Valve wants to catch up to Sony’s Playstation Network’s 110 million accounts. Meanwhile the highest ever number of concurrent players in a console game was during the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on Xbox 360, clocking up nearly triple Dota 2 with 1.4 million players.
Over the past year there’s been much uncertainty over what to expect from the next-generation of consoles, with many gamers being disappointed in the leap up from current-gen. This may have led to a surge in popularity in PC gaming as gamers seek to stay ahead of the technology curve.
Where do you see the future of PC gaming?
Do you think a service as big as Steam will ever compete in the digital download market?
Be sure to let us know below!