Steam was first introduced in September of 2003, over 15 years ago. Yesterday, the towering digital distribution service reached the milestone of one billion accounts, according to the website Steam ID Finder. The user "amusedsilentdragonfly" joined the service yesterday, April 28th. According to Steam ID Finder's statistics, this user's steamID3 (Steam has several identifiers for each account) is [U:1:1000000000], hence the one-billionth user. No prizes are involved, but it can be considered an important milestone unless you consider that there are millions of spam and scam accounts on the service.
Last January Valve also shared some interesting statistics, particularly the impressive sum of 90 million active users, the same number of active users of Sony's PSN service. They also reported an 18.5 million peak of concurrent users. The Game and Player Statistics page continually displays the concurrent users from the last 48 hours, with an average peak of over 16 million players. All in all, these are strong numbers to flex, especially as we enter the great digital distribution platform wars.
At this year's GDC, four Valve employees also showed a presentation called Steam Business Update, where they talked about the future of the platform and its plans for long term growth. Some highlights include the evolution of Steam Features, the introduction of Events, a total redesign of the Library, and new features in the Steamworks backend for developers. The final segment focused on emerging markets, which might be the one that's most useful to explain Steam's growth, both present, and future. Particularly noteworthy is the following chart from the presentation slides (slide 73), which shows the bulk of Steam Transaction Volumes in Asia over 2018, with five standard payment methods comprising only 12.5% of the total, and non-standard methods making up a whopping 87.5%.
Another interesting tidbit is the PC Cafe program for Asian countries, with plenty of integration features that are conducive to attract and retain Asian users, as many of those prefer to play in PC Cafes rather than at home, mainly due to issues with the quality of Internet connections.
So while this milestone of one billion users may be tainted by the number of spam and scam accounts, there's plenty of evidence that Steam is, in fact, the largest digital distribution service available on PC.
What do you think of Steam's milestone of one billion accounts? What percentage of this number would you say can be considered legitimate accounts? Let us know in the comments below!