It was clear fairly early on that 2020 was going to be an enormous yr for Steam. When February started, Valve’s shopper noticed its first record-breaking user count of the yr – and it could go on to interrupt that report virtually each subsequent week for practically two months after that. Thanks to gamers all over the world being driven indoors by the COVID-19 pandemic, extra individuals than ever had time to play video games on Steam in 2020.

Valve has published some official figures on its previous yr, 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. People wound up taking part in much more video games – there have been 50.7% extra hours performed in 2020 than in the yr earlier than, in accordance with Valve’s stats.

As we famous up high, extra individuals had been taking part in, too – whereas February’s first report, 18.eight 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 yr with the record-smashing release of Cyberpunk 2077.


Steam has revealed some extra fascinating stats – as an example, Steam customers – each gamers and builders – are warming as much as recreation demos. During the Spring recreation pageant, round 600,000 demo activations happened. In the Summer version, that quantity exploded to three.1 million demo activations. During the Fall pageant, Steam says there have been 5.1 million demos activated.

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

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