Valve Corporation reached a new milestone in the first weekend of 2017, with 14 million concurrent players on their Steam client.
About 7% of the active users were playing Valve’s own Dota 2, a free-to-play competitive MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). Despite having no up front cost, its internal cosmetic micro-transactions have made it an international multi-million dollar property.
But Dota 2 wasn’t the only big game in 2016 by a long shot. 5,245 games were released on Steam over the course of 2016, representing an almost 40% inventory growth in the last year alone. Nearly 370 million games were sold altogether, for a total of roughly $3.5 billion. And that’s only counting the games themselves — it doesn’t account for separate downloadable content or internal revenue from free-to-play titles.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, Grand Theft Auto V, and CounterStrike: Global Offensive seemed to be the biggest overall winners, though indie sensations like Undertale and Stardew Valley put up some incredible numbers as well.
It’s only been five years since Valve reached 5 million users in 2012. In January 2015, they’d just made it to 12 million. That’s indisputably impressive growth for anyone, let alone a specialty, online-only, platform-specific marketplace. And from the looks of it, 2017 is only going to be bigger.
Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.