Year in review: It’s no secret that PC gaming is popular, but Valve’s annual “Year in Review” blog post has given us new insight into the specifics. The post covers a wide variety of topics, most notably new feature additions Steam received throughout 2019, but one tidbit stood out: Steam players clocked in an astounding 20 billion hours of gameplay last year.
That’s a massive number and one that might surprise casual gamers. Even if you average out those hours evenly across all of Steam’s peak concurrent users — a figure that reached 14.15 million as of September 2019 — we’re still looking at over 1,400 hours of gameplay per person. That converts to about 58 days of gameplay per user for 2019.
Of course, for some hardcore players, those numbers are the norm. Many such individuals can easily squeeze hundreds of hours out of a single game if it proves engaging enough. Personally, I’ve played Mount & Blade: Warband for over 900 hours (though not in 2019 alone), and others have sunk far more time (sometimes over 10,000 hours) into multiplayer-oriented games like Ark: Survival Evolved or Team Fortress 2.
Depending on who you ask, these numbers could be seen as a badge of honor, or a massive waste of time. No matter what you believe, though, it’s fascinating to see how much time and energy gamers are willing to invest in their favorite titles.
As we mentioned before, Steam’s Year in Review report also went over some of Valve’s main achievements for the year. There was the launch of Steam Labs, which brought several new experimental features to the platform, as well as Steam’s revamped Library and Chat system, to name just a few.
Toward the end of its Year in Review post, Valve briefly talked about some of the upcoming improvements Steam users can look forward to in 2020. New Steam Labs experiments will roll out, SteamVR 2.0 will launch (with several “customer experience” improvements), and the Steam Mobile app will get a rework. We’ll undoubtedly learn more about each of those announcements in the coming months.
If nothing else, Steam’s latest Year in Review report should make it abundantly clear that the PC gaming industry is far from dead. Indeed, on platforms like Steam, it’s thriving, and it will likely continue to do so for years to come.