Steam has released a statement discussing the massive success that their digital games delivery service Steam has experienced over the course of 2011.
For the last few years, there has been a constant debate over whether digital delivery of video games can possible topple boxed goods in terms of sales, resulting in games retailers having to lean heavily on special editions of games and the physical content that you receive when purchasing them. Those items can't be obtained digitally, although more and more special editions are being released with digital bonuses instead of physical; things like in-game double XP time or custom armor and weapons are becoming more popular.
Steam experienced unprecedented success in 2011, proving once again that a digital format is the future of games delivery. The service has expanded to more than 1,800 games and over 40 million registered users. Of those 40 million registered users, during 2011 Steam peaked its amount of concurrent players, surpassing the 5 million players mark. 5 million users logged on to Steam simultaneously, playing one of their favorite games.
"Steam and Steamworks continues to evolve to keep up with customer and developer demands for new services and content," says Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "Support for in-game item trading prompted the exchange of over 19 million items. Support for Free to Play (FTP) games, launched in June, has spurred the launch of 18 FTP titles on Steam, with more coming in 2012. Looking forward, we are preparing for the launch of the Big Picture UI mode, which will allow gamers to experience Steam on large displays and in more rooms of the house."
Thanks to their digital platform and the lack of money spent on packaging and manufacturing for boxed games, Steam is able to continually offer incredible savings during Holidays. It is commonplace to see games marked down 50- and 60% because Valve is still able to turn a profit on even that much of a price cut.
2012 undoubtedly has some exciting things in store for us in terms of digital delivery and we're excited to bring that news to our readers! If you haven't checked out Steam yet, you can do so at http://store.steampowered.com/.