For the seventh year running, Valve’s Steam platform has seen a growth in sales, jumping 100 per cent in the past 12 months alone.
“Steam and Steamworks continues to evolve to keep up with customer and developer demands for new services and content,” said president Gabe Newell
Mr Newell also cited the introduction and improvement of new payment platforms for games as aiding this growth. “Support for in-game item trading prompted the exchange of over 19 million items. Support for free-to-play games, launched in June, has spurred the launch of 18 FTP titles on Steam, with more coming in 2012. Looking forward, we are preparing for the launch of the Big Picture UI mode, which will allow gamers to experience Steam on large displays and in more rooms of the house.”
The number of active gamer accounts on the digital distribution platform has hit an impressive 40 million and just recently broke the record for most users concurrently online – 5 million. Games Industry (requires free account signup) reports that throughout 2011, nearly 15 million games were registered, which is an increase of 67 per cent over the year before.
These figures are equally impressive because 2011 was the first year that saw some competition for the game download platform. While it’s still in the early stages of its development, EA Game’s Origin service saw a few million users and is expected to continue its growth despite early hiccups. The Impulse digital distribution platform that’s now owned by GameStop is still small fry in comparison, but it too is on the rise.