Ever since it launched what seems like an eternity ago, Valve's Steam service has been the definitive go-to service for many users when it comes to games and community. And now, it's grown into one of the largest gaming portals in the world, based on new information coming out of the recent Casual Connect USA conference that took place in Seattle.
According to Techspot, the digital game distributor – and publisher of games like Left 4 Dead, Portal and, of course, Half-Life – explained that the service has managed to grow quite a bit, and now has a a total of over 67 million active monthly users. No doubt there are many great games to support them, including titles in Early Access, like the best-selling Playerunknown's Battlegrounds.
And to put into contrast just how big a number that is, it noted that the number is far bigger than that of Xbox Live's tally, which currently clocks in at 53 million. And keep in mind that Microsoft's service has been around just as long.
Valve attributed a good portion of this success from the overseas market, namely Asia, a country that has seen 17 percent of the service's overall sales numbers. Valve's Tom Giardino has noted that the service has grown thanks to the localization of stores, as well as supporting the platform with different payment methods, so consumers won't be shut out if they don't necessarily have a credit card to call their own.
That said, Valve has managed to do what Microsoft couldn't, as the Xbox has been suffering quite a bit in those markets, even with support from a number of reputable third-party publishers and developers, including Hironobu Sakaguchi. (Remember Lost Odyssey?) Perhaps it's the ease of access with the service, or the wide range of games that are available. After all, millions of users flock to Steam every time there's some sort of epic sale taking place.
We'll continue to see Steam grow in the years ahead with even more Early Access hits and indie support. As for Xbox, they're doing well in their own right, but one has to question just how well the Xbox One X will hold up.
(Thanks to GameZone for the heads up!)