Valve today released details about Steam in 2019, and if you were even remotely worried that users would be neglecting Steam in favor of its competitors… don’t be. The platform saw a lot of action this year, in terms of how much time gamers spent on it and how much stuff is changing.
The primary purpose of this particular year in review is to show just how much Steam has changed in the last year — which, to be fair, it has done. The whole platform feels like it got a facelift, from the library to the store. Valve is quick to sing the praises of its experimental features, such as the Steam Labs mad science space where it’s playing with machine learning. It also reminded everyone that, in spite of the competition its faced recently from the likes of the Epic Store, gamers are still spending a lot of time on Steam. As in, a lot of time.
According to Steam, its users played 20,789,726,718 hours of games. To use Valve’s own point of comparison, that’s almost a one-way trip to the Andromeda Galaxy. It feels appropriate it accompanies that stat with a graphic of a pig wrapped in a cozy blanket, because that’s what I usually look like when I’m gaming.
Other interesting takeaways include:
- Steam squashed 44 review bombs since it introduced its anti-review bomb measures last March. That’s more than even I was aware of, and it’s interesting to think how many smaller dramas are happening within the Steam community without us being aware of it, and how those things can influence subsequent sales of the games.
- The Library’s new visual overhaul led users to submit 300 percent more reviews per day than before. Specifically, the library “introduced some new ways to prompt the user to review or re-review a game they have been playing based on certain criteria,” which means “we now see 70 thousand reviews per day.”
- Over 2.3 million users have gamed with together via Steam‘s Remote Play Together feature. Essentially a mode that lets users play couch co-op with long-distance friend, Remote Play Together must have scratched a very widespread itch: the feature only launched in November, and yet it still got over 2 million people using it.
Valve also reported that it’s trying a few new features, the most interesting of which is the expansion of the Steam PC Cafe Program and the updates to SteamVR ahead of the release of Half-Life: Alyx.