February 7, 2008
Steam Has 50% More Users than World of Warcraft (15 Million)
In perhaps the largest rebuttal for the whispers of the death of PC gaming since World of Warcraft reached 10 Million users, Steam today announced that they have surpassed 15 million users of their digital distribution and community driven PC gaming platform. Straight from the mouth of Gabe Newell (President of Valve):
PC gaming is thriving, and has evolved into an era of constant connectivity. That connectivity gives us the ability to have a much better relationship with customers, not just for delivering our games, but across all aspects of our business - including the design, development, and support of our games. Features like Guest Passes, Free Weekends, Gifting, and the Steam Community have been very well received both by customers and the developers who are using Steam.
2007 was definitely been a good year for Steam, with the release of Xbox Live like community features including Friends, in game messaging, and even clans as well as the recent release of Steamworks, a set of completely free development tools including encryption, in game voice chat, and multiplayer matchmaking. More and more game studios have also joined Valve in selling their games over Steam, including both Take Two and Activision.
I gave up on PC gaming for a few months after getting my Xbox 360. The community features and ease of use (no installs, free demos, and automatic patches) was such a pleasant upgrade from the hassles of PC gaming I just didn't think I'd ever go back. That all changed when Steam turned itself from just a store to a platform, a platform that works so well, I have no idea how Microsoft is going to keep trying to sell Windows Live for $50. With the recent release of Steamworks, I know it won't be long before Steam is the De facto platform for PC gaming. The last piece of the puzzle would be the ability to launch World of Warcraft from Steam, something that may no longer be such a ridiculous proposition.
Posted by Clayton Ashley at 5:45 PM
| Comments (13)
| Posted to PC
I would not mind Steam becoming a standard for PC gaming, it has improved by leaps and bounds over the years and is no longer the clunky and annoying bit of software that it once was. Of course there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Actually, Steam has an "add non-Steam game" option that lets you add any game to the Steam game list. So you already can add WoW to the Steam panel if you want to.
Steam is still a very buggy "clunky and annoying bit of software" when you use it over a low-bandwidth connection, such as dial-up.
Works fine as long as you've got a decent connection though.
@Sub - The earth does not end at the edge of the US you know...
Man you're pissy Angel... take a chill pill will you?
15 million users says basically nothing, since the platform is free.
I got the orange box to discover I had to install steam to install the disks and to have the games work. So I am a "steam user" but definately not voluntarily.
Yes it's true its a free platform, but how many people downloaded it without having bought at least one game? This also means a potentially huge audience that could be buying digitally download games. Plus, thats an incentive for developers to release their games on the service.
And just because it's free, is that necessarily a bad thing? The service offers nearly all the same features of Windows Live, without the monthly fee.
Hahaha, what's up with GamingSteve and Serbia? LOL
Microsoft will really need to do something special and quickly too if they still want to be in the game over the next 1-3 years.
Sorry PatMan, but it's because of that kind of US-centric arrogance that software like steam doesn't work for millions of dial-up users...
When steam was in beta, roughly 33% of HL1 players were on dial-up. A few months later, when steam became mandatory, only 3% of HL1 players were on dial-up.
Instead of admitting that the platform was just plain broken on dial-up (hence why 90% of the dial-up players stopped playing), Valve publicly announced that most of their dial-up users must have suddenly upgraded, so there was no need to support dial-up at all.
Steam is a service consisting of many games. WOW is ONE game. So you can't compare Steam with WOW.
If they wanted to use Steam as a benchmark for active subscriptions then they need to include FilePlanet, Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, E*Trade, et all.
It's also worth noting that you don't need to pay to download and install the Steam client. You do, however, need to be an active account holder for WOW. So WOW's 10M is greater than Steam's 15 because all 10M are paying accounts.
*In all fairness I should probably state that I play WOW and enjoy it
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