While gorging on today's helping of shortbread, I stumbled upon an interesting story claiming that Valve's Steam content delivery service raked in nearly one billion dollars in 2010. As a privately held company, Valve doesn't release such figures to the public. The report is based on the work of analysts at Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment (FADE).
According to FADE's report, Steam generated revenues of $970 million last year and pulled in a whopping $213 million in December alone. Steam was brimming with discount deals over the holidays, and I made more than a few impulse purchases. Looks like I wasn't alone.
Valve didn't really have any big releases of its own this year, but the company still published seven of the top 10 games, at least by volume. Lest you think that Valve's own wares dominate the service, the list of top ten games by revenue is littered with titles from Activision, EA, 2K Games, Bethesda, and THQ. Perhaps even more interesting, at least for those of us who enjoy more casual arcade titles, is the fact that over 180 games are said to have achieved at least $1 million in sales. Steam seems to do a pretty good job of promoting smaller games produced by independent developers.
I wasn't a huge fan of Steam when it was first introduced, but the service has morphed into by far the best game delivery platform on the PC. The fact that titles are so frequently—and aggressively—discounted is quite a nice bonus, as well.
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