The PC gaming market is in a state of disruption right now, largely due to the actions of Epic Games and their Epic Games Store. They’ve been buying exclusive rights to titles on their PC launcher over the last year, the latest and biggest example being Borderlands 3, which has caused controversy and much debate about the nature of the PC gaming economy. Regardless of how you feel about Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeny’s philosophy and strategy to penetrate the market, it’s undeniable that Steam has a huge presence. That much has always been clear, but it’s been made even clearer now, as we can now see that Valve’s store front and game launcher has reached 1 billion accounts.
As Steam ID finder has tracked, the billionth account on Steam came on April 28th. Now, it goes without saying that there’s not a billion active and unique users on Steam (it’s estimated there’s roughly a 7 billion human population, so no, 1 in 7 people on Earth do not have a Steam account), but even if we are to speculate that 70-80% of that number is bots, duplicates, etc, it’s still a staggering amount of legitimate accounts. Last year Valve also released statistics showing that Steam has 90 million active users, and it’s most likely only grown since then.
Valve launched Steam all the way back in 2003, and it has become the de facto standard for PC gaming. While other stores have risen up, with major third party companies like EA and Ubisoft creating their own PC storefronts, none have managed to penetrate the market in such a way. It’s also seen its share of controversies with issues about curation and algorithms. Whether or not Epic Games can match Valve’s market share with their tactics remain to be seen, but it’s undeniable they are going after the top dog in the yard.