Steam is arguably the biggest gaming platform on PC, with thousands of games available in its store, from early access and indie games to the biggest games in the market. And at the Business Conference for Games Industry in Russia, Valve Business Development Head Jan-Peter Ewert shared that Steam gained over 13.5 million “new first-time purchasers” during the first few months of 2018.
Ewert’s talk, which was outlined by indie developer Michael Kuzmin on Twitter, reveals that the 13.5 million new buyers – around 3.375 million per month from January 1 to April 30, 2018 – was due to the platform increasing the number of supported payment methods and currencies. The company currently has over 80 methods compared to only 50 back in 2016. The increase could also be due to the success of battle royale games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which has dominated Steam’s Top Sellers list for quite awhile now.
According to Ewert, the increase in new purchasers and payment methods benefits its growing community of development and publishing partners. He also talked about Steam’s new Direct system, which helps developers get their games on the platform faster than now-defunct Steam Greenlight. Ewert shared that Steam Direct, which allows developers to just go ahead and release their games when they’re ready, has increase the number of game releases per week to 180 titles from just 70 during the era of Steam Greenlight and just 5 before that.
Ewert also shared that games that have earned over $100,000 during their first 30 days of release has increased significantly over the years, adding that the current format allows games to be seen by more people due to things like curators, wishlists, and even sharing between friends. Ewert also said that Valve doesn’t sell ad space or “pick winners & losers,” saying that “great games find their audience. PUBG reportedly grossed over $714 million during its first year of release.
Currently, there are almost 20 million peak concurrent users on Steam and over 40 million daily active users. You can check out Kuzmin’s entire thread here, which shows several slides from Ewert’s presentation.