Valve has published a 2019 Year In Review recapping the most significant improvements to hit the Steam digital storefront alongside some impressive figures.
Let’s start with the numbers. Steam recorded over 20,789,726,718 billion hours of gameplay in 2019. As Valve puts it, that equates to traveling to the Andromeda galaxy at the speed of light. To put the figure into perspective, that’s 2,372,356 days.
The number of monthly active users on Steam hit nearly 95 million – 1.2% of the world’s population. Users uploaded 4.3 million items and mods to the Steam workshop in 2019. Despite launching in November, Remote Play attracted 3.7 million users, while Remote Play Together drew together 2.3 million for local multiplayer sessions over the internet.
The post then dives into how the Steam platform changed in 2019.
Through the massive Library update, Valve vastly improved the Steam Library with new management and categorization options, an activity feed pooling all the latest news about a specific game, and Steam Events & Announcements to facilitate player-developer communication. The update led to an increase of over 300% in user reviews from 17,000 per day to 70,000 per day.
The review also touches on September’s browsing Discovery Update, changes to SteamVR, and the introduction of Stream Remote Play. Valve also describes how new tools were able to mitigate the impact of ‘review bombing’ on 44 occasions in 2019.
In the post, Valve also shares its plans for 2020.
One of the most significant upcoming features is ‘data deep dives’. Noting attempts by third parties like SteamDB and SteamSpy to pool publicly available data the state of this or that game, Valve is taking matters into its own hands. Using its access to a much larger data set, Valve will share official analysis via a series blog posts throughout the year.
SteamVR 2.0 should see the light of day and introduce a raft of customer experience improvements. Valve will also look into revamping its sale events to reward participants in new ways.