As the year draws to a close, it is time for the various gaming markets to assess their successes and failures.
The PC gaming market seems to be going from strength to strength, if Steam’s popularity is anything to go by.
Steam is comfortably the most popular PC gaming storefront around, hosting a wide variety of popular games including Dota 2, CS:GO, PUBG, and GTA V.
Steam’s success in 2018
According to Steam’s owner, Valve, Steam’s monthly active user count has increased by a massive 23 million people compared to last year.
Steam topped 90 million monthly active users in October – a substantial increase on last year’s 67 million user peak.
Steam’s increase in popularity is due in part to its success in China, where it doubled from 15 million users to 30 million in the past year.
However, Steam has also increased in popularity across the world, showing that PC gaming is still popular.
These statistics are even more impressive when you consider the success of various games that don’t run on Steam, including the incredibly popular Fortnite, which gained 155 million new users over the past year across platforms.
Concurrent user record
The record for most concurrent players on Steam was also set this year, albeit much earlier on.
18.5 million players were online at the same time earlier this year, due in large part to the massive popularity of PUBG at the time.
Since Fortnite has rocketed to the top of the Battle Royale food chain, however, Steam has been unable to replicate its January successes.
However, while 2017’s record was 14 million concurrent users, Steam has crossed the 16 million concurrent user mark multiple times in December 2018 alone – evidence of a clear progression from previous years.
Video game market’s end-of-year successes
The success of the gaming market in 2018 is not limited to PC gaming.
The latest data from the NPD Group highlighted how the video game market smashed records in October, including record sales for $1.55 billion for the month of October.
In comparison, last year’s October sales amounted to $894 million – signalling a 73% increase year-on-year.
The October sales record was previously set back in 2008, where the video game market made $1.36 billion.
Year-to-date spending across video gaming hardware and software grew by 21% compared to the same period a year ago.
The significant sales of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles also ensured 26% growth in hardware spending this year.
Additionally, this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday digital spending on console gaming climbed to $1 billion worldwide, an increase of 24.5% compared to last year.
PC gaming revenue increased by 18.3% in the same time period, generating a total of $586 million.