/ Games / Everyone knows Steam’s dirtiest secret, and it set a record for most users online at a time

Everyone knows Steam’s dirtiest secret, and it set a record for most users online at a time

Andrea on July 6, 2014 - 11:26 am in Games
Steam Summer Sale
When Steam first launched to the PC gaming masses, it wasn’t even remotely well-received. Sure, it was structured a little differently, and Valve hadn’t yet built up its mass market favor through viral hits like Portal or heavily discounted game sales. For a while, though, the platform’s dirtiest secret was that it was straight DRM, through and through — the kind everyone cries about, though not as invasive as other forms. It still is straight DRM, but Valve has garnered enough favor since Steam’s 2003 release to show that all DRM isn’t so bad. Now, the platform is known for its famous sales more than it’s known for anything else, and its dirtiest secret isn’t about being disguised DRM, but that all of its famous sales only really boil down to just one day.

The Steam Summer Sale is Steam’s biggest yearly event, lasting around a week, putting old and new games on sale for an often insanely steep discount. There are always tips and tricks involved in getting the most out of the Summer Sale every year, but they can all be reduced to just one strategy: ignore every sale day until the very last one. Most of the games that have previously gone on sale will go on sale again the very last day, new games will be added to the sale, and the discounts will often be the steepest. It might sound strange to call it a dirty secret, but it’s a bit dirty when nearly every day of your biggest event of the year doesn’t matter.

Steam holiday sale 2013

It appears the secret is out, though, and the last day of the summer sale this year caused Steam to reach its highest concurrent user count to date, topping out at around eight million. Just last December, the service set its previous record — around seven million. According to those numbers, Steam grew by one million users in less than a year. From Steam alone, (not even counting Battle.net or a number of MMOs not available on either platform) it would appear PC gaming is at an all-time high, though that’s not unexpected. PC gaming turned a corner when the modern-day indie boom happened and people’s MacBooks and ThinkPads were able to run those games with ease. Now, you can find a big-budget, resource-heavy title that most rigs can’t run sitting right next to something you can play on your phone.

There’s no telling how high Steam can grow or when it will plateau, but for a “niche” genre of entertainment, PC gaming sure is doing fine.

Source: Games – Geek.com

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