Steam generated $1 billion in 2010

By on February 4, 2011, 5:41 PM
Many have cast doubt on the future of PC gaming, calling the industry a pale shadow of what it used to be. We can't help but disagree with that, especially when you look at the stellar lineup prepared for 2011. Research firm Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment (FADE) has further confirmed the PC industry's continuing vigor by releasing sales stats for Valve's digital distribution platform, Steam.

Although Valve generally keeps Steam's performance figures under wraps, FADE estimates that the service raked in just shy of $1 billion last year. Revenue supposedly reached $970 million in 2010 and unsurprisingly, December was the service's best month with $213 million in sales. FADE reports that over 180 games cracked the $1 million sales mark with the Call of Duty franchise being the top seller.


COD: Black Ops was the highest grossing title with $98.2m, while 2009's Modern Warfare 2 pulled in $39.4m. Valve's own Left 2 Dead 2 was the third bestselling game with $36m in revenue, while Bad Company 2 and Civilization V hit $25.4 and $21.9m, respectively. Portal, Fallout: New Vegas, Metro 2033, Mafia II, and Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising occupied the bottom five slots, selling $10 to $20m.




User Comments: 39

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Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Steam sales rule!

Nothing more to say =)

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Steam is arguably the best software retailer business model I've ever seen. Now these are guesstimated sales figures, which don't translate into exact profits. But we all know they're making a buck or two. And I don't begrudge them a bit of it. They have it all - convenience, no DRM, good pricing, a revolving door of sales events, great customer relations and support - the whole nine yards.

Looking forward to doing business with Steam for pretty much forever....

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You couldnt have written it better TomSEA

princeton princeton said:

TomSEA said:

Steam is arguably the best software retailer business model I've ever seen. Now these are guesstimated sales figures, which don't translate into exact profits. But we all know they're making a buck or two. And I don't begrudge them a bit of it. They have it all - convenience, no DRM, good pricing, a revolving door of sales events, great customer relations and support - the whole nine yards.

Looking forward to doing business with Steam for pretty much forever....

I beg to differ on one point. Because you can only play the games on your specific account and they are linked to that account only it is actually one of the biggest DRMs out there. It isn't intrusive at all. But it is considered a DRM strategy.

What I want these publishers to do is actually read these figures instead of suffering the delusion that PC games make them lose money. If you make a single penny of profit then there's no reason to shun the platform.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Uhm... you have to dowload the game, log in once with your account to activate that game and are never ever again required to connect to play the game, unless you want to play online which shouldnt be a problem if you do want to play multiplayer.

I find it quite less frustrating than having to be wary of how many times you install a game cause you might not be able to play it again.

princeton princeton said:

Kibaruk said:

Uhm... you have to dowload the game, log in once with your account to activate that game and are never ever again required to connect to play the game, unless you want to play online which shouldnt be a problem if you do want to play multiplayer.

I find it quite less frustrating than having to be wary of how many times you install a game cause you might not be able to play it again.

Go to your steam copy of mw2 and click the single player icon. Nope, requires steam. Try bioshock...same thing. Try UT3..oh look, it still requires steam running.

Try it with any valve game, oh that's right, they all require steam running as well. If you look next time you'll see all steam versions of games have code wrapped around the games to require steam to be running.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Many have cast doubt on the future of PC gaming, calling the industry a pale shadow of what it used to be. We can't help but disagree with that, especially when you look at the stellar lineup prepared for 2011. Research firm Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment (FADE) has further confirmed the PC industry's continuing vigor by releasing sales stats for Valve's digital distribution platform, Steam.

Read the whole story

Yes. PC gaming is very much alive and well. I was at my local Gamestop today and one of workers who is a big PC gamer and uses Steam said it was because of this company that Gamestop is phasing out PC games from their inventory. They can't compete.

As a side note G.O.G. (Good Old Games) has just acquired rights to Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and the Icewind Dale franchise. And no DRM.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It does require to have Steam running Princeton, but Steam is not required to be online it has an offline mode so...

EDIT: ...my argument is not invalid at all... basher...

princeton princeton said:

Kibaruk said:

It does require to have Steam running Princeton, but Steam is not required to be online it has an offline mode so...

EDIT: ...my argument is not invalid at all... basher...

Changing it to offline mode doesn't mean the program isn't running. It's linking the game to that account to verify it is legitimate. That's DRM no matter what you argue.

The whole point of the steamworks featureset is a good DRM.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Gosh....... please tell me where did I write that that was not some sort of DRM? I explained how steam system worked and pretty much it, then you called my comment as invalid god knows why. You wonder why people call you basher...

princeton princeton said:

Gosh....... please tell me where did I write that that was not some sort of DRM? I explained how steam system worked and pretty much it, then you called my comment as invalid god knows why. You wonder why people call you basher...

Actually almost everyone who calls me a basher is new to the forum.

I posted that is was DRM and you made an argumentative post. Therefore you implied that it isn't a form of DRM.

Also, could you try to use conjunctions in your posts. At times I have had difficulty understanding what you have been posting.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Since I dont want this thread to a be a 2 guys conversation you win, yay for you!

Back to topic, keep it up Steam!

andreasf93 said:

I never buy from Steam, it's the most expensive place to boy..

MerlinFist MerlinFist said:

Steam are a joke, if you pay for a game, you shouldnt need to download load the other half (SC2)!! also there custermor service is rubbish. I have emailed them saying I cant play civ v since they have released there most recent update, 4 days later I get a reply stating that I should try something that I had already tried and the worst thing about it is that I already explained that to them in my email.

I agree that to stop people hacking games, steam is a good idea, but the aplication of this so called service of theres is a lot to be desired.

Guest said:

I love Steam it's the only place I get my games from now. Great sales, auto updating, unlimited installs on any pc anywhere, and no disc check does the trick for me. I do have one gripe though.....I wish they'd sell new games at a lower price. I mean everyone knows that the manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and shelf space a physical product takes up in a store is a big factor in the final price at the register. But I guess they figure as long as enough people will pay full retail for less than a whole product, they will keep doing it. So I will just play the waiting game until they lower the price =)

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I guess a lot of people find Steam convenient in terms of ease of updating games and having the least intrusive manner of DRM. My only problem is that I can't buy games from Steam because my DSL connection is pretty slow and downloading full games is definitely not an option. For now, I'm stuck with buying games at retail stores.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

I love Steam it's the only place I get my games from now. Great sales, auto updating, unlimited installs on any pc anywhere, and no disc check does the trick for me. I do have one gripe though.....I wish they'd sell new games at a lower price. I mean everyone knows that the manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and shelf space a physical product takes up in a store is a big factor in the final price at the register. But I guess they figure as long as enough people will pay full retail for less than a whole product, they will keep doing it. So I will just play the waiting game until they lower the price =)

Considering that in my experience most games at release are buggy pieces of shit, I don't mind waiting until a few patches come out and the price drops. I've been having a blast picking up the GOTY editions of several games for 10% of the sum price of the game and DLCs. .

Guest said:

This has to be wrong, remember they are trying to get us to believe no one buys games anymore, everyone just steals them REMEMBER

ramonsterns said:

andreasf93 said:

I never buy from Steam, it's the most expensive place to boy..

Haha, he doesn't buy during discounts.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Steam's purpose is to be a gateway for as many game publishers for as many games as possible. In order to do that, very few publishers would be willing to release their games on Steam without some sort of DRM.

I don't feel like I need someone to manage my "digital rights" but that's the only reason Steam has anything more than a handful of indie games. For as long as there is a profit motive and as long as it remains to easy to copy media, there will always be some form of DRM.

Since DRM must exist for Steam to exist as it does, Steam's DRM -- overall -- is tastefully done. No, I don't like having to have Steam to play the games, but I understand there has to be a framework of some sort to enforce the DRM. And no, I don't like I have to get online in order to even go 'offline' and once again no... But Steam is as good as it gets for now.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Last months of 2010 there were some wicked offers, first there were some developers weeks, then came black friday (Which was actually not a single day of offers but several), then holydays, oh and before that was summer discounts... I know a couple of months in between but who plays that many games on that short time.

dcrosenthal said:

I do! I do! I love steam! but most of all I love Half-Life! The best game of all time! and the one that started it all!

SilverCider said:

dcrosenthal said:

I do! I do! I love steam! but most of all I love Half-Life! The best game of all time! and the one that started it all!

Agreed! It was Half-Life 2 that introduced me to steam!

princeton princeton said:

SilverCider said:

dcrosenthal said:

I do! I do! I love steam! but most of all I love Half-Life! The best game of all time! and the one that started it all!

Agreed! It was Half-Life 2 that introduced me to steam!

I'm pretty sure he meant half life one.

mailpup mailpup said:

Steam was introduced with Half Life 2. At the time it was quite controversial.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I remember the hell it was to install HL2 on my brother in law's PC. Steam has improved a lot since then, though not as much as I had thought it would. But regardless of the platform it kills all the other services with regular great discounts on games people actually want to play.

yRaz yRaz said:

I think people aren't aware that if steam is running, the games DRM runs along side it. Look at the Deadspace 1 Page on steam and read the bottom. It will tell you that you need an internet connection to activate the game. Same with most EA games, only other one I can think of off the top of my head is Crysis. I don't find steams DRM intrusive, though. Small price to pay for something that installs the game for you and takes care of the CDkey and drivers.

I would be all for it if steam was the only DRM. I don't want to steal games, I just want to buy them at a reasonable price. Steam sales let me do that. If I don't like the game, so what, I got most of em' for $5 or less anyway.

Guest said:

unless ur in Canada

Guest said:

As long as they continue to produce the best games on the market they'll continue to generate the money. I've bought 4 of those games listed. and all 4 of them are easily some of the best games i've played this year.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Actually... Steam does not produce any game at all, Valve does and none but 2 are from it (L4D2 and Portal).

teklord teklord said:

Steam sales are unreal. I purchased a lot of games that I had previous "trial" versions of off of Steam per the excellent prices including the Unreal package. Frees up you HDD from the ISO and it's nice to pay for the game. BFBC2 was one of the best games I have ever bought and I got it for $6.50 off of Steam! That is crazy gameplay value!

Guest said:

Don't fool yourself, Gamestop is phasing out new games because there is no used market in it.

There is no used market due to the differing formats between PC and consoles. Not all PC games require the disc to be inserted to play the game. There is no way to verify that the user has uninstalled the game from their PC before Gamestop can purchase and re-sell PC games. Therefore they could potentially be held liable for facilitating in breaking the licensing agreements. Consoles don't have this issue, because they are not playable w/o the disc in every case.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What is Guest talking about? O_o

ramonsterns said:

Kibaruk said:

Actually... Steam does not produce any game at all, Valve does and none but 2 are from it (L4D2 and Portal).

And Half Life 1 and 2, and Team Fortress 2, and Lead 4 Dead 1.

And Portal 2 and DOTA2 are on their way.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Good news for Steam and I'm happy for them, I still however have my disagreements with them like other posters here.

Guest said:

haha dude, you can run steam in offline mode =P

pVk said:

hey

Well its the walmart on computer games all games at one place,

Personally steam is getting overflood by garbage games,

Its a can full of trash,

Sure have some great feature, still need a lots of work

ramonsterns said:

pVk said:

Well its the walmart on computer games all games at one place,

Personally steam is getting overflood by garbage games,

Its a can full of trash,

Sure have some great feature, still need a lots of work

As opposed to getting filled up with what?

If garbage games are being made, it's not Valve's fault. There's still plenty of indie titles to choose from.

Guest said:

I love steam, I never have to worry about storing the discs, CD keys, most games don't even have the hassle of installation (click next, click accept, next, next next, wait, finish). The only problem I have with steam (and it's not really even a problem with steam) is that when I want to install a game I need to download it, and unfortunately my ISP has a bandwidth cap of 80GB. On top of being convenient it is one of the largest gaming social networks around, see what your friends are playing and buying. Steam is great for indie game creators too, I've seen ads for games that I would have most definitely never even heard of without steam.

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