What just happened? Steam sales have always been a big deal for Valve and game makers, and the recent Autumn event was no exception. With the gaming industry experiencing a massive uplift as more people prefer at-home entertainment, this year's Autumn Sale was "the biggest-ever in terms of revenue for developers and publishers."

Just under one million people bought a game or made a microtransaction for the very first time during the Autumn Sale, up by a third compared to 2019. Concurrent users, meanwhile, reach nearly 24 million, which is about 7 million more than during the sale's peak last year.

Valve points to the ongoing quarantine as one of the factors behind the high numbers, along with the success of new games and older games seeing a resurgence in popularity---Among Us is highlighted as an example of the latter. Better recommendations and a revamped sales hub also helped increase sales, according to the company.

The announcement adds that 5.3 million users cast more than 30 million votes for the Steam Awards nominations. Valve reveals the final nominees for each category every day, with voting for the winners taking place between December 22 at 10AM PST and January 3rd at 9AM PST.

Only the coveted Game of the Year and VR Game of the Year nominees have yet to be revealed:

Labor of Love Award

  • Among Us
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • No Man's Sky
  • Terraria
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Better With Friends

  • Borderlands 3
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Fall Guys
  • Risk of Rain 2
  • Sea of Thieves

Outstanding Visual Style Award

  • Battlefield V
  • Black Mesa
  • Marvel's Avengers
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • There Is No Game: Jam Edition 2015

Most Innovative Gameplay Award

  • Control
  • Death Stranding
  • Noita
  • Superliminal
  • Teardown

Best Game You Suck At Award

  • Apex Legends
  • Crusader Kings III
  • FIFA 21
  • GTFO
  • Ghostrunner

Best Soundtrack Award

  • Doom Eternal
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • Helltaker
  • Need for Speed Heat
  • Persona 4 Golden

Outstanding Story-Rich Award

  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Mafia: Definitive Edition
  • Metro Exodus
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Sit Back and Relax Award

  • Factorio
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Satisfactory
  • The Sims 4
  • Untitled Goose Game