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Steam by the Numbers

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Posted on February 19, 2012 AT 01:25pm

THE BUZZ: Steam is one of our industry’s the true success stories. A digital distribution system that gamers love, trust, and most importantly for Valve, use. Some believe that without Steam PC gaming would have been on the brink of extinction, and while that may come off as hyperbole, the fact is that Steam has legitimized the PC market in a time where piracy has all but taken over.

Forbes has shed some light via VideoGameDesignSchools on the numbers that Steam is dealing with in the PC market. One of the most notable figures is Steam’s massive chunk of the digital marketplace at 51%. While virtual store fronts like Amazon hold a meager 11% of the market, the physical retail space isn’t doing any better with Gamestop only accounting for 10% of that pie. The most starting piece of information is that Valve only gets 30% of a sale while the publisher takes home 70%, which is a far cry from how these numbers look at the retail end with those numbered flipped and the retailer taking home 70% and the publisher getting a scant 30% for their effort.

The rest of the chart shows off some other interesting bits of information:

EGM’s TAKE: We shutter to think what the PC market would be like if not for Valve and all its efforts. Maybe EA’s Origin would have come sooner, or maybe Microsoft and its Games for Windows would have gained some relevance after all. Valve has made a killing with Steam, but as long as it keeps up with sales and discounts, gamers will be hard pressed to hate on a system that just works the way we want it to.

Source: Forbes

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