Some details at the link above, but looks like 2015 was a damn good year for Steam.
[li]Over 3,000 new games.[/li][li]Concurrent users go from 8 million to 12 million.[/li][li]Over 350 million copies of games sold (not including FTP or DLC/in game transactions)[/li][li]Monthly number of new releases plateaus - this was a growing concern for indie devs who were worried about too much competition.[/li][li]Overall traditional paid gaming on Steam (no free to play, no in game transactions, no DLC, etc) was worth over 3.5 billion. About 15% of the overall PC gaming market.[/li][/ul]
I’m hoping 2016 will be even better: We’ve got 14nm GPU’s coming out, achieving what appears to be the same performance of current GPU’s, but at 60% less power, making truly small form factor PC’s an affordable and easy goal. Valve continues to push the viability of PC gaming in the livingroom. PC VR will be taking it’s first baby steps, and we’ve got a ton of big AAA and mid tier games coming to PC from all over the place. Also, Japenese devs are waking up to the reality that there’s a PC gmaing market hungry for their games. Many are porting their games to PC, some eve releasing the same day as their console SKU’s.
Not to knock steam’s success, but have you seen some of the shit they count as “console release”? This is not as much of a plus as you might think. Indeed; steam seems very reluctant to get its house in order when it comes to quality control and ensuring that games that get into Greenlight aren’t utter dross. And I don’t just mean bad in the Duke Nukem Forever sense, I mean borderline unplayable in the “Slaughtering Grounds” sense.
It is definitely nice that they instituted refunds, though. That’s some great consumer protection biz that, while well overdue, is definitely nice to see.
They weren’t bragging. These are the straight stats gathered by steamspy from the steam db.
I agree that just the pure number of new games doesn’t really mean anything… except that getting on Stema is somehting a small indie team can definitely do - and that knowledge is probably why great indie experiences keep on happening (and will continue to happen) on PC. On the other hand, there were a LOT of great games. maybe not 3,000, maybe not 1,000, but hundreds of genuinely terrific games released.
I think the crap isn’t a big deal. As long as Valve keep son improving discoverability of the good games, and so long as we can return games no questions asked, the market should balance out.
Steam’s discovery queue system is garbage. For one thing, they have a system that actively promotes idling every game you own (for cards) so the “Like recently played” flag is worthless. I don’t actually need recommendations of games like the bundle trash I just idled for 22¢ worth of cards. It reminds me of when Google Play would fill my recommendations with Jennifer Lopez songs for the next two weeks because I once clicked on a blind forum link someone made to a J-Lo Youtube video in a thread about butts.
But, besides that, it’s just not sophisticated in any way that takes advantage of the data they have. When I was doing the Winter Sale “event” “activity”, 95% of the games were in my queue either “Because it is new” or “Because it is popular” with popularity based on overall sales. But nothing like “A bunch of your friends play this” or “Similar to games you’ve up-voted” or anything even trying to customize the experience. Going through it was just click-click-click to advance it while it offered titles that I’d never be interested in like faux-retro bullet hell space games or such stuff.
What would be useful, and what they have the data to do, would be something like “We’re recommending Witcher 3 because we see you have 300+ hours in Dragon Age: Origins and this game shares most of the same tags and people who rated DA:O thumbs up also almost always rate this game thumbs up.” Something where they’re actually thinking about the user beyond “Well, lots of people are buying this new Witcher 3 game so I guess you should, too”.
BTW, I’m not looking for you to defend the system, Kinthalis. I’m just talkin’ about Steam.
What Jophiel said; Steam’s discoverability is trash. For every game I find on the system that interests me, they’ve probably shoved 50 “this game is selling well!”/“this game is new!”/“this game has positive user reviews!” titles in my face.
I recognize that they may well have recommended everything they think I might want by now - it’s not impossible that there are only so many games that match the profile of “stuff that I would actually like” and I already either own them or have them on my wishlist, but in that case, the correct answer is NOT to “recommend” tons of games which they have no reason to believe I would like. How many FPS games are in my library (Two if you count The Stanley Parable)? I don’t even have PORTAL FFS, why do they think I want Shooty McGuns 3: The Shootening? Because other people bought it? Greaaaaat.
So yeah, to be honest, I haven’t seen a lot of “improving of discoverability” by Steam so far.
I’m surprised it isn’t more. What about the other 85%?
How much of a benefit is that? If someone is living in a really cramped space, ok. But the vast majority of us can easily allocate a 3-4 cubic feet for the case, especially if it allows us to use more powerful components.
It does seem low but then you have Origin, Uplay and other services, Bizzard’s services, microtransactions, subscription services, DLC sales, DRM free sales, etc.
Does still sound low though.
I think it appeals to the “PC as console” type of people who just want a little box under their TV for an easy experience. I’ve seen a couple people on other forums talk about buying Steamboxes or Alienware Alphas this Christmas. Seems crazy to me (underpowered, overpriced, hard to upgrade) but someone’s buying them.
Steam is big, but it’s just a small slice of the overall PC gaming market - even if we were to account for the missing DLC and in-game transactions in Steam revennue, I doubt it’s much more than 20%
Think about it. You’ve got the massive PC games from Blizzard: WOW, Diablo, Hearthstone, and to a lesser extent Star Craft and Heroes of the Storm. You’ve got most EA games, you’ve got other huger games on PC like Minecraft and league of legends (which all by itself has an active user base just as large, if not larger, than all of Steam), then you have popular MMO’s and free to play titles (most popular in eastern Europe and Asia), and finally the ultra casual browser games. PC is huge overall. Even if slicing it down to purely more “traditional” gaming I doubt Steam covers much more than 50% of it.
As for form factor, well, it makes PC gaming more attractive to a less hardcore gamer for one. If I show someone interested in gaming at my office a “gaming PC” and it looks like a small car engine with an alien head on the front, I’ll get a very different response than if I were to show him something 3/4 the size of a PS4 (even if it still has the stupid alien head on it).
I’m personally moving away form the big desktop too. My latest attempt a year ago ended up as one of these: http://www.pcper.com/files/imagecache/article_max_width/news/2014-11-18/front343.jpg With a mini ITX mobo and my old 780ti + an i5 CPU. Easily half the height of my old case, about 80% of the width and depth. Now it sits on my desk along side my monitor, instead of taking up the space of a stool in the living room.
The best part though is that right now you have to pay a serious premium for smaller form factors, and you have to make all sorts of compromises. But with low power components, there are less compromises ot be made, and hopefully prices will start to come down. Anyway, that’s just my take on it. Who knows if it will mean anything in the long run or not.
I’m…not kidding? The recommendation system, thus far, has been pretty much entirely useless (to the point where I literally joke about it.) The search system is still complete and total ass… I guess I’ve occasionally seen something that might have been interesting on the frontpage? I suppose I shouldn’t hold it against them that I already know about the stuff they are advertising to me, but considering that I’m still not actually DISCOVERING those games via Steam, I don’t think it’s fair to say they’ve “improved discoverability.”