Steam business update: Sustained revenue growth, top 5 languages (non-EFIGS), expansion into Asia and South America

Valve’s Kassidy Gerber recently shared several updates on Steam as a platform and some of its key metrics. Here are the key findings.

English, Simplified Chinese, and Russian are top 3 languages on Steam, plus more data on platform

Data below is taken from Gerber’s talk at the Nordic Game 2024 conference (thanks, GameDiscoverCo).

  • Steam has experienced tremendous growth in user base over the last five years, especially in regions such as Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America, and South America.
  • For example, the number of new Steam users in China, Serbia, and Philippines has increased by more than 100% since 2019, with Japan, India, and Mexico up more than 150%.
  • “Part of our mission on Steam is to reach gamers around the world,” Gerber said. “We invest a lot in making sure we price in the right currencies, accept the right payment methods, and connect our servers close to our customers.”

  • Steam currently supports 29 languages, and Valve is working on supporting more. And the actual language breakdown on the platform still surprises a lot of game devs.
  • “Traditionally, a lot of developers in the West tended to focus on EFIGS (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish). But it would be a big mistake to ship a game on Steam in 2024 and not at least consider a Simplified Chinese,” Gerber explained.
  • The slide below shows that the top five languages on Steam are English (35.08%), Simplified Chinese (28.08%), Russian (7.91%), Castilian Spanish (5.25%), and German (3.41%).

  • Like many other game platforms, Steam saw a huge surge in revenue at the start of the pandemic and lockdowns in 2020. However, it is “still seeing sustained growth,” with the graph below showing that global revenue for Valve’s platforms hasn’t slowed since then.
  • As GameDiscoverCo rightly pointed out, the key is likely Steam’s global expansion. Valve is doing a great job of reaching new audiences in Asia and other regions to offset the overall games market slowdown.

  • Steam hosts four seasonal sales every year, and Gerber pointed out that each of them continues to grow year-over-year.
  • For example, average daily revenue for the Summer Sale 2023 grew 23% year-over-year. Autumn and Winter events, which remain the biggest, are also growing — up 17% and 13% respectively.
  • “It’s worth noting that this growth isn’t localized to just the biggest games on Steam,” Gerber noted. “Games of all sizes see significant sales upticks by participating in our seasonal sales.”

For more information about the Steam platform, including data on Next Fest, Steam Deck, and Steam Input (6.7 million daily active controller users, +19.2% YoY), watch the full talk below.

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