Steam sales were huge in 2015, according to numbers from Steam-Spy.
According to the numbers, as posted on Steam-Spy's blog on Medium, statistics showcase how the Steam sales have pushed the client base to have $3.5 Billion in sales of paid games in 2015. The number stems primarily from Steam sales in December, which saw massive spikes of purchases during the winter, despite receiving criticism for having a disappointing winter sale this year. Steam also suffered from a serious gaffe on Christmas day that caused Steam users to log into random accounts out of nowhere, but that too did not slow down sales, which reached close to $450,000,000 in revenue during December.
April also surpassed over $400,000,000 in sales. Steam-Spy gives credit to major releases in April for the massive revenue spike, in particular Grand Theft Auto V is mentioned. Steam sales have also added 3000 new games for consumers in 2015, compared to 1900 games in 2014, and over 350 million games were purchased throughout the year, despite the number of monthly releases stabilizing after years of constant growth in amount of releases. This $3.5 Billion also doesn't pertain to downloadable content either, which no doubt added to the total revenue for Valve, as would their market and microtransactions.
The 3.5 Billion number encompasses sales made directly through steam, and also sales that occur on platforms that sell steam keys such as GamersGate, Humble Bundle, and Greenman Gaming. Valve makes 30% of sales on their platform, but makes no amount on sales made through those alternative platforms which for some developers can make up a significant portion of sales. The methodology for calculating the sales amount is based on the lowest price at the time, thus while it is possible in some locations it may be gotten for less, it should be reasonably accurate.
Steam-Spy also showcases the top selling games on Steam for the year, which turned out to be Grand Theft Auto V and Fallout 4, netting $161,253,971 and $122,571,232 in revenue respectively. Both games were also the top games in terms of sales; GTA V nets over 3,847,724 while Fallout 4 had 2,759,226 in sales. Games that dominated the charts on a month to month basis from April to December also included Rocket League, Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Ark: Survival Evolved, and Metal Gear Solid V.
It should be noted that data between Jan-March is not concrete, hence why Steam-Spy focuses on April-December to formulate most of the conclusions shown here.
Overall, Steam continues to be profitable and a relevant example of the service model for the PC gaming industry.
So what do you think? Is this still the golden years for Steam? Do they deserve these high numbers in sales? Leave your comments below.