Steam year-end stats reveal people are playing more games than ever

There was 21 per cent more playtime in 2021 than in 2020

Valve has released statistics about its platform Steam, and it looks to have had huge growth in 2021.

Valve definitely had a good year, with statistics like 132million monthly active players, 69million daily active players, and a peak concurrent player count of 27.4million. But one of the more fascinating stats in among the year-end results, is the fact that there was 27 per cent more spending than in 2020, with 31.2million new purchasers.

The goals coming into 2021 were clear, and Valve says it wanted to make it easy for PC games to get onto Steam with plenty of control for the developer, while trying to maintain Steam as the “best place for customers to own and play the game.”

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The global pandemic had a large impact on both the games that were delayed and released, but also on the amount of people who spent time playing games. Valve thus compares statistics from last year to 2020, saying: “Steam saw 2.6million first-time purchasers each month of 2021, roughly the same rate of new purchaser growth we saw in 2020 as the global pandemic unfolded.”

Valve end of year stats Steam 2021
Steam Stats. Credit: Valve

Apparently digital gift cards were very popular in 2021 as well. First introduced in 2017, there were more than 2.6million digital gift cards sent in 2021, with the overall value of them up 43 per cent compared to 2020.

With Valve’s Steam Deck now available to purchase (if you were one of the pre-order customers), there are more features being added like the ability to pick up a cloud save on the portable device after playing on your desktop PC.

Steam Deck also has support for existing Easy Anti-Cheat games, as Valve claims “major technical investments with Anti-Cheat providers are solving problems for online multiplayer games. The work on this began in early 2021, and collaboration with Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye is yielding big rewards for players and game makers.”

Valve also says that VR users grew in 2021 by 11 per cent. The Meta Quest 2 (formerly Oculus Quest 2) now makes up more than a third of VR headsets used on Steam, which perhaps isn’t a huge shock since it’s one of the cheapest models on the market.

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In other news, some Steam Deck pre-order customers are having their shipping dates delayed.

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