Steam has released its 2020 year in review numbers and they make for some interesting reading with one clear message at the end: the PC as a gaming platform is only going from strength to strength.
The most important numbers are likely found here in the overview where the 62.6 million daily active users can be found.
COVID-19 and the fact that many people were stuck at home with extra time to play of course factored into these higher numbers.
“While Steam was already seeing significant growth in 2020 before COVID-19 lockdowns, video game playtime surged when people started staying home, dramatically increasing the number of customers buying and playing games, and hopefully bringing some joy to counter-balance some of the craziness that was 2020,” reads the announcement of these findings.
The result of these people using Steam to buy, download, play and discuss games has placed a lot of strain on servers as you can imagine. In March 2020 a 30-40 percent increase in total traffic was seen on the platform likely due to many places around the world going into some kind of lockdown or movement restrictions during that time. Amazingly this increase is less than what Steam experiences during a sale, so that was easily dealt with.
“In combination with one of the biggest launches of the year in Cyberpunk 2077, we hit a record for download traffic of 52 Tbps (26 Tbps just for the preload period alone), which doubled our previous peak,” Steam writes.
Despite the rocky launch of Cyberpunk 2077 it remains on Steam’s best seller list to this day. At the time of writing it’s fourth overall on the entire site. Not too surprising when you consider that the game made $50 million in revenue on Steam alone in pre-orders.
Even with this massive demand Steam upgraded its Chicago network site and added three more in Frankfurt, Dallas and Buenos Aires. The platform even changed how it managed bandwidth to help ISPs around the world cope with so many people using the internet.
The full Steam year in review 2020 can be found here and the rest of Steam’s 2020 has been summarised by the platform into a collection of infographics you can view below.