Steam reaches 65 million users

Steam turned 10 years old in September. The service has come a long way since its humble beginning, and its audience is apparently growing at a rapid pace. Over the past 12 months, the number of active users has increased by 30%. So says an official Valve press release, which also reveals that Steam has surpassed 65 million accounts. It’s unclear whether that total refers to active accounts, though. Here’s the relevant snippet pulled from Engadget’s coverage:

Valve today announced 30% growth in active accounts during the trailing 12 months on Steam, a leading platform for PC, Mac, and Linux software.
Now offering over 3,000 games and software titles to over 65 million accounts, 2013 also marked Steam’s 10 year anniversary of providing services to gamers.

In June, EA said it had 50 million users, although almost half of those apparently came from mobile platforms. Next Power Up points out that Xbox Live has 48 million users, and that Sony’s PSN Network tops them all with 110 million. Valve isn’t the biggest player, but it’s clearly right up there.

Apart from reminding us about Valve’s Steam Machine beta and an upcoming developer developer event planned for January, the press release has little else to say. I’m sure someone will find a hidden message about Half-Life 3, though.

Comments closed
    • NovusBogus
    • 9 years ago

    Steam has done a lot of good for both consumers and the industry but I worry that it’s becoming a monolith. At times like this it’s useful to note that Microsoft and EA were both also considered the good guys before they got ubiquitous and entrenched.

    Personally, I buy Steam games if they’re under $15 but I don’t trust anything I can’t install offline to go the distance so I’ll never pay retail price for one.

    • travbrad
    • 9 years ago

    My biggest problem with Origin is still their extremely limited selection. It’s not as nice a program/store/community as Steam anyway, but the game selection is what really kills it. Awhile ago I looked up my entire Steam library on Origin, and they had ONE out of my 43 Steam games available to buy.

    I do like Valve as a company much more than EA too, so that just sort of seals the deal.

    • Generic
    • 9 years ago

    What!?

    Was that [i<]not[/i<] what drove Mr. Newell to Linux? 😉

    • Pholostan
    • 9 years ago

    Sure, Steam is quite good. I would say Steam is great. GoG gives me even more freedom though. How can that be bad thing?

    • unclesharkey
    • 9 years ago

    I find myself buying games I will probably never play, but the deals on Steam are just too good to pass up. ;-P

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    Steam accounts are going to be 99 percent tied to content and revenue. PS3 sales and xbox sales may not monetize well for as much as 1/2 of their unit sales. PC has for a long time been the place developers can get much higher returns even if volume and exposure is lower. But as the PC is re-surging through services like steam its hard to predict how things will change. I’m very excited for the PC as a platform as well as steam.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    This just in. All we want is Half-Life 3.

    • MrJP
    • 9 years ago

    You can do all three of these things with the vast majority of games on Steam. (OK, so you’ve got to go online at least once to download the game and then activate offline mode). The games with additional restrictions have those whether they’re on Steam or not.

    • swkerr
    • 9 years ago

    EA forced me to open an account to have their stupid game but I would never consider buying one on it. I love Steam. It is so much cheaper and easier than playing on a console. If you are willing to wait a year you can play some great titles for $10-$15. Not to mention you can easily move them from machine to machine and not worry about loosing the disk.

    I seldom use my XBox live account now except for Netflix. Seems like that should be free.
    Can’t remember the last time my son played online with the Xbox live account, he is all Steam these days.

    • Pholostan
    • 9 years ago

    According to the down votes, it seems you shouldn’t have that choice. I’m at a loss why.

    • pandemonium
    • 9 years ago

    My roomy has the same problem as you. He’ll buy games that are on sale (especially during the big sale events) and he’s played maybe 3 games out of 50 on his list.

    I, on the other hand, have specific games that I really want to play. I’ll put them on my watch list and when they go on sale for a large enough discount, I’ll go ahead and buy them. I have 13 games on my list and I’ve played them all; most of them extensively.

    Think of it this way though: you could be buying brand new games in the same manner and spending 2-10x as much money. So you’re making out in the end. 🙂

    • jstern
    • 9 years ago

    I was going to buy Resident Evil 6. Looked up reviews to see if it’s a good game, logged on to Steam, only to find out that I already had it. Just never played it

    And that’s a big problem Steam and these sales, that so many people end up spending so much money on games they don’t play, simply because they’re getting a bargain. I mean, it’s a good thing getting things for a bargain, but not still. Would be really great if I was a kid.

    So then I saw this other game, looked pretty interesting, 85% off, but I forced myself not to buy it. Even though right now I kind of want to go back and get it. But what’s the point? I have so many games that I haven’t played, and as much as I want to buy this game, if I don’t buy it I’m going to completely forget about it in a couple of days.

    • south side sammy
    • 9 years ago

    maybe the people who set up Steam’s website should set up the site for Obama care…………LOL

    • LocalCitizen
    • 9 years ago

    I only use GOG
    I want to choose when I download and when to update my games.
    I want to choose which computer I play my games on.
    I want to choose not to be online when I start my games.

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    I actively shun Steam

    • Arclight
    • 9 years ago

    Does the PSN also include the PC users? I mean Planetside 2 requires an account iirc.

    • travbrad
    • 9 years ago

    Yeah I think there are probably a lot of WOW players who don’t even have a Steam account. For a lot of WOW (and MMOs in general) players that is the only game they play.

    • Bensam123
    • 9 years ago

    Yeah, it seems weird, but 65m is still a really big number. Considering the size of the console online users, it seems relatively legit. It just means there is a long way for PC gaming to grow and can grow.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 9 years ago

    Dammit Valve and your summer sales. I watched two friends become addicted to those.

    • Forge
    • 9 years ago

    I’m OK with that.

    • Forge
    • 9 years ago

    Yeah, I’ve gotten to the point over ten years where I really don’t pirate software anymore. I went to do so a while back and had to figure out the whole process all over again.

    15 years ago, hardcore pirate, paid for nothing, ever.
    Now, 533 titles in my Steam library, not counting DLC or free titles.

    • Prion
    • 9 years ago

    Depending on how they’re measuring the XBL metric:

    I’m amazed that 48 million people bother to pay for XBox Live Gold.

    I’m amazed that only 48 million X360 users ever took their console online/made their own account.

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    did you account for the cracked copies that dont require steam?

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 9 years ago

    That’s like saying, “black markets aren’t part of the market.” Doesn’t that sound a bit silly? :p

    Should we also not count free to play, shareware, and open source? Surely you have tried one of these? Should we not count you?

    If there is any such thing as an entity called “the market,” and it has parts, as your own words imply, then it would be the sum of all these parts.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 9 years ago

    Actually, the clues left in the message clearly discuss a Ricochet 2. Inside those clues, however, if you write the entire message backwards, subtracting every three letters, ignoring every third space, you will find a set of clues that clearly lead you to the Left 4 Dead 3 reveal. Inside that message, if you successively add one of the four letters in the name “Gabe” to every third noun, you will discover a top secret meta announcement for Portal 3.

    And inside that announcement, if you but do the obvious and read it backwards in the bathroom with no lights on while wishing very hard and trying not to be afraid, Gabe Newell’s voice will announce clearly to you the impending arrival of Half-Life 2: Episode 3.

    If while you are hearing the supernatural announcement you interrupt every third word with, “Where’s mah headcrab plushie?” and do it with first a comedic tone, then a tragic tone, then a giddy tone, then a sad tone, and finally a sexy tone, the message will end in demonic laughter and the G-man saying, “Sometimes, the wrong words in the right place can make all the diff-ference in the world.” You’ll hear the sound of the “dangerous materials” and then silence.

    You’ll think nothing else happened, but when you turn on the lights to your bathroom, you’ll find you’re not in your bathroom. Emerging from it, you’ll blink to discover you actually are in Gabe Newell’s bathroom. Emerging, you will stumble upon him playing a Steam Machine. Looking up, he’ll push back his glasses and grin. “Half-Life 3 is real. Here, have a Steam Machine with 780 Ti SLI, an Intel 4970K, 64 gigs of RAM, 10 TB’s of SSD’s RAID’ed, three 4K displays in surround, and a lifetime pass to have anything on Steam for free. This pass is transferable.” Tilting his head to the side, he’ll add, “Please allow 10-12 weeks for delivery. Gifts can be taxed in some states. All offers are not all available in all states. Please don’t run with scissors. Secondhand smoke can kill.”

    As you approach Gabe, you’ll realize it’s not Gabe at all! It’s a robot! That’s when the horrible truth is revealed.

    Wheatley is running Valve. Just let it sink in. Wheatley. He’s running Valve. That’s where all the incredible deals come from. Gabe is an animatronic puppet he uses to sell his ideas. Looking up, you ask the obvious.

    “How the hell did you get down from orbit?”

    “Weeeeell, y’know, that’s a funny story!” Instantly, you reappear in your bathroom. Unfortunately, your buddy’s already in there, so it’s kinda awkward trying to explain what happened.

    No one’s gonna believe you for about 10-12 weeks.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]Tho, I can visit Steam stats page now and see that at this very moment there's 4.5 million people playing concurrrently and the peak today has been nearly 6 million of concurrent players. So, do I believe that concurrent players are about 10% of active accounts.[/quote<] Not being online != not active. For instance, I'm playing Sanctum 2 in offline mode right now so I can grind some XP without random ppl dropping into my game (yes, I know I can set my network to 'Private', but that doesn't stop my friends from joining my game if I want a solo experience at the moment). EDIT: Turns out Sanctum 2 has a 'Friends only' setting as well as 'Private', which is invite only. Nifty. Now I don't have to go offline to grind.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]The pirates are not part of the market.[/quote<] Piracy and legal purchasing are not mutually exclusive. Many studies have shown that pirates also tend buy more products (be it music, movies or games).

    • lethal
    • 9 years ago

    I’d like to know the [i<]active[/i<] accounts for these platforms. For example, I know I have a EA origin account because years ago I used the EA downloader for a game I can't even remember and that account was later converted to origin (got a email about it and logged no more than a couple of time since that). I'm betting that my account is in that 50 million number, but I only buy games on steam or GOG since I don't really care for juggling multiple game libraries.

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    Ah. Looks like we now have confirmation from multiple unrelated sources, so it must be true.

    • 5150
    • 9 years ago

    6 x 5 = 30

    30 / 10 years of Steam being live = 3

    Half Life 3 confirmed.

    • brucethemoose
    • 9 years ago

    The start menu clearly detracts from my gameplay experience.

    • Generic
    • 9 years ago

    65 million people.

    I don’t understand; shouldn’t it be like half that?

    …what, with Microsoft forcing us to use their app store and all.

    • windwalker
    • 9 years ago

    The pirates are not part of the market.

    • Benetanegia
    • 9 years ago

    I think it’s active accounts that they report. Not sure tho.

    Tho, I can visit Steam stats page now and see that at this very moment there’s 4.5 million people playing concurrrently and the peak today has been nearly 6 million of concurrent players. So, do I believe that concurrent players are about 10% of active accounts. Yes, of course I do, and it actually feels like a high number too.

    • TwoEars
    • 9 years ago

    In 12 months right?

    Just in time for the 10 year anniversary of HL2?

    Mmmmhhmmm….

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]hidden message about Half-Life 3[/quote<] I FOUND IT!

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<] software titles to over 65 million accounts[/quote<] Release date on 6/5 !

    • TwoEars
    • 9 years ago

    Yeah – and there are around 10 million World of Warcraft subscribers.

    65 million sounds about right to me.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    Hmm, good numbers. I’m sure a decent amount are owned by the same people, but then we should really compare sales numbers since 2003, not just for the latest generation consoles. Then there is the Wii…not that it entirely appeals to the same audience as the others, but there are definitely PC gamers who bought Wiis.

    • Deanjo
    • 9 years ago

    To put a bit of perspective on this, there was an estimated 300 million iPhone’s in use in February this year.

    • Deanjo
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]upcoming developer developer event[/quote<] Is that like Little Caesars "Pizza Pizza" event? Or a bit of subliminal love for Steve Balmer poking through?

    • Benetanegia
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]I don't think steam offers dubbed versions of the games?[/quote<] Yes, they do.

    • Benetanegia
    • 9 years ago

    Nearly 200 million seems like a pretty high number to me.

    Like Olreich said, about 150 “last gen” consoles were shipped and we know the actual singular sales are lower, whether it’s because consoles dying, because of same people buying normal and slim versions later on, or because many people buy both for exclusives…

    Of course, in both cases we should probably count those numbers as households, rather than sigular users. Indeego above is far from being the only one sharing an account. People share accounts as well as consoles and whole PCs.

    • Diplomacy42
    • 9 years ago

    zero is used more still

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 years ago

    So roughly one percent of [i<]all humans on the planet[/i<] have a Steam account, and only last year industry "experts" were declaring PC gaming was dead?

    • brucethemoose
    • 9 years ago

    Valve time: Christmas 2007
    Actual time: Coincident with the Rapture
    Item: Release of Half-Life 2: Episode Three

    [url<]https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Valve_Time[/url<] EDIT: OMG, HALF LIFE 3 COMES WITH THE BIOSHOCK INFINITE DLC

    • TwoEars
    • 9 years ago

    Many countries dub their games. Germany, france and Japan for instance. I don’t think steam offers dubbed versions of the games?

    Then some of it I think has to do with internet speed connection. Most of USA, Canada, Europe & eastern Asia have fast internet by now but in many other countries a physical disc in your hand is still the fastest and best way to get a game.

    And don’t forget all the dirty pirates either.

    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    4 people share my steam account. It’s probably quite a bit higher.

    • Olreich
    • 9 years ago

    There have been 79.4 million Xbox 360s sold. There have been 75 million PS3s sold. 65 million is only 15% less than that.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    Is it just me or does 65 million seem low? I would think that 99% of PC gamers who play games above the level of Flash games have Steam installed, but if so that means there are only about 65 million PC gamers? Even if it’s a greatly lower proportion, say 30%, that’s still only ~190million PC gamers and Steam is available in many countries afaik.

    • Zarf
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]...[/quote<] - Lord Gaben, [i<]On Half-Life 3[/i<]

    • JosiahBradley
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]Valve today announced 30% growt[b<]h[/b<] in [b<]a[/b<]ctive accounts during the trai[b<]l[/b<]ing 12 months on Steam, a leading plat[b<]f[/b<]orm for PC, Mac, and [b<]Li[/b<]nux so[b<]f[/b<]twar[b<]e[/b<]. Now offering over [b<]3[/b<],000 games and software titles to over 65 million accounts, 2013 also marked Steam's 10 year anniversary of providing services to gamers.[/quote<] Half Life 3 confirmed for Linux!

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    I see “3” digit being used more times than other digits in that article… HL3 confirmed?

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