The Weekly Raid: How Much Have You Spent On Steam?
Valve's Steam platform has dominated the PC gaming market for years now. If you're reading this post, its likely you too are active on Steam. Despite publishers like EA, Ubisoft, and Blizzard creating their own launchers, most of us still prefer to use Steam. Part of the continued attraction of Steam as a platform are the constant sales Valve runs, often offering games for up to 90% off. These tempting sales often get users to purchase games that they never end up installing, let alone playing.
Steam has always offered users a way to see their spending history, but the European Union's new privacy law, known as GDPR, has compelled Valve to present this information in a more organized way. This week, we'd like to see how much money our listeners have spent across the lifetime of their steam history. Curious users can use the link below to check:
Here's a snapshot of my (Altay) spending:
Ouch! That's far more than I would have suspected. In my defense, at least half of that is from Dota 2 items I've sold in the Steam Market then used to purchase additional games. Valve's spending tool measures what it calls 'external funding' which includes Steam Wallet Funds spent, but does not include the value of product keys acquired via third parties and activated on your account.
Steam has continued to evolve since its 2003 launch and now hosts dozens of MMORPGs. A vibrant market for cosmetic items, especially in games like Dota 2, Counter Strike Global Offensive, and Playerunknown's Battlegrounds is also a massive source of income.
Steam is also working hard to upgrade its social features. The platform has added voice chat and broadcasting over the previous years. A new interface, currently in beta testing, takes cues from the massively popular Discord chat client and should make communication through Steam chat more streamlined.
Valve has recent partnered with the Chinese company Perfect World Entertainment to bring their gaming platform to China. While Steam has been accessible in China for years, it never had the blessings of the government. The success of PUBG last year likely spurred Valve to make their relationship with the CCP official.
While Steam has never been bigger, it also faces a host of new challenges. The world's biggest game at the moment, Fortntie, isn't on Steam. Activision-Blizzard has decided to host Destiny 2 and the new Call of Duty of Blizzard's launcher. Amazon is flirting with game publishing through their twitch client. Even Microsoft is making a push. The new Age of Empires remake is published exclusively through the Microsoft store. Will Steam maintain its enormous market share in the PC gaming market, or will it lose market share to one or more of these new competitors?