Valve recently posted a 2019 Year In Review summary with some interesting statistics and details from last year.
According to Valve, in 2019 users on Steam logged a total of 20,789,726,718 hours played.
The scale of that and other things on Steam are a bit mind boggling. For example, take the Steam Workshop,
The Steam Workshop continues to be a very popular feature among users: 4.3 million items were uploaded last year alone. Unfortunately, sometimes malicious groups would upload “fake items” (e.g “Click here for Free Skins!”) with the explicit purpose of hijacking accounts. To help mitigate these types of scams, the Workshop submission process was updated to require email verification. We’ve since moved to pre-approving items for games that had the highest rate of abuse. There has been a drastic reduction in item scams since then, with very little cost to users: approval times are less than 15 minutes on average, thanks to our full-time moderation team.
Valve also notes that “revenue from games made by our partners was up year over year, and 2019 finished strong with our most successful sale ever.” But that, of course, doesn’t answer the question on a lot of people’s minds–how were the year-over-year sales affected by the rollout of Epic’s Store?
SteamCache.Net is a system for caching Steam game downloads so that multiple computers on the same network can more quickly install games.
The primary use case is gaming events, such as LAN parties, which need to be able to cope with hundreds or thousands of computers receiving an unannounced patch – without spending a fortune on internet connectivity. Other uses include smaller networks, such as Internet Cafes and home networks, where new games are regularly installed on multiple computers; or multiple independent operating systems on the same computer.
Writing about the end (or at least likely severe decline) of SteamSpy in the wake of privacy changes at Steam, Owen Good offers an interesting insight into games journalism,
. . publicly available data means we can’t dismiss their complaints as the usual negativity from obsessive commenters and social media users.
WTF. Talk about feeding the notion that games journalists style themselves as an elite who are above the fray of their knuckle-dragging audience. This is why gamers largely ignore game reviews and games journalism, and are right to do so. If there are a large number of complaints about a game and your only reaction is to think “oh, those usually negative obsessive nutcases again…I guess I’ll just go back to my latte,” then you don’t deserve to be taken seriously.
Look at LawBreakers, which was effectively mothballed last week. It didn’t stink in the reviews, but the reviews were just looking holistically at what LawBreakers was as a game. Placed in an environment with other games and their player bases, though, it hardly stood out. Those figures showed that people just weren’t going for it.
Look, I get that SteamSpy was very useful. But what Good is describing here isn’t just using SteamSpy as one of a number of tools, but rather as a crutch used by journalists who are so dismissive of their audience that they are fundamentally out of touch with them.