Valve is doing its half as an example gaming’s progress final 12 months with its Steam 2020 Year in Review report. It consists of some relatively spectacular numbers, like the truth that PC players elevated their playtime by over 50 % final 12 months, and that every month, 2.6 million individuals purchased a recreation on Steam for the primary time.
2020 was a tough 12 months, and many of us used gaming as a way to escape from the awfulness of every part occurring on this planet — an purpose helped by the truth that so many good games had been launched final 12 months. Over half of Americans played video games in 2020, and whereas Steam’s numbers solely symbolize the PC (and doesn’t rely video games like Fortnite that seem on rival PC shops), it nonetheless speaks to the truth that PC gaming isn’t just surviving, however thriving.
Along with the additional time spent taking part in and the newcomers to the platform, Steam’s information additionally reveals that the variety of video games offered grew by 21.four %, and the platform had as many as 24.eight million individuals taking part in without delay, setting a brand new document for concurrent gamers for the second time that year.
2020 was additionally the 12 months that Valve’s personal Half-Life: Alyx got here out, which we hoped might finally be a killer app for VR, a recreation that will lastly entice individuals to present VR a go. Do Steam’s numbers bear that out? Effectively, VR definitely grew, with 1.7 million individuals utilizing Steam’s VR interface for the primary time, doubtlessly resulting from new headsets popping out to rave evaluations, like the Oculus Quest 2. Valve additionally stories that there was a 71 % improve in VR gross sales, with Alyx alone making up 39 % of them. Individuals had been taking part in extra in VR as properly, with playtime going up by 30 %.
Talking of PC video games being performed outdoors the normal “mouse and keyboard connected to a Windows machine” mannequin, Valve additionally notes a 66.6 % improve in recreation classes that had been performed with a controller. Steam additionally notes its work on bringing video games to Linux with its Proton runtime and calls out Dying Stranding and Cyberpunk 2077 as video games that had been accessible on the OS quickly after they had been launched on Home windows.