Steam saw its most profitable year yet in 2017, according to Sergey Galyonkin, the creator of SteamSpy. He claims that this is in large due to PUBG's massive burst in popularity which contributed to 21 per cent increase in new users.
SteamSpy is a website that has been providing estimates on Steam's sale numbers since 2015. During 2017, Steam made £3.04 billion ($4.3 billion USD) in revenue, largely thanks to PUBG's sales of 28 million copies, which generated £425 million ($600 million). This also affected the total number of Steam accounts, which rose to 291 million, with 63 million being created in 2017 alone.
During his statement at GDC 2018, Galyonkin revealed some statistics that show the massive gap between the top 100 games on Steam and the rest of 21,406 total Steam games. He said that half of all the money Steam earns is made by a ''small subset of games''. The top 100 are the ones that make the majority of the money.
PUBG's sales are followed by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with 12.5 million copies sold that earned the revenue of roughly £85 million ($120 million). In order to break into the top 20, a game needs to make £15.6 ($22) million in gross revenue.
All of this data was collected by SteamSpy, which monitors around 800,000 user profiles ever day. Galyonkin noted that SteamSpy doesn't work in real time and needs four days to catch up. It is also ''very inaccurate'' for small games. It tracks only owners and players, not sales. It is also unable to figure out which games were sold on Steam, which ones were sold on a third party site and which were given away for free. Therefore, the numbers are not precise , but as Galyonkin stated, they are rather an estimate of the actual numbers.
In spite of that, he is confident that Steam is not slowing down as 57 million players were active on Steam in the past two weeks. Quarter of all Steam account holders have played a game in those two weeks. Average number of games owned on steam has dropped though, most likely due to massive numbers of new Steam accounts in China that usually have only PUBG added to them.
While Chinese players spend twice as much time playing PUBG than an average American. On the hand, American players buy six time as many games than the Chinese ones. Galyonkin also confirmed that there are around 30 games that launch each day, and that numbers is just too high. He was quoted as saying ''We have too many games, it's not possible for a user to buy them all, it's impossible for a user to even scroll through them''.