The digital gaming platform, Steam, is relatively unknown to those outside of the gaming community, but at the end of last year, it had just as many users as the popular XBOX Live. Steam is a clever digital store created by Valve, and allows computer gamers to purchase and download thousands of games to any computer.

Users download the Steam client, purchase and download games through the digital store, and then play the games they buy on any computer. Last year, Steam delivered over 780 million gigabytes of games to users, and during their 2011 Holiday Sale, five million users were simultaneously signed into Steam for the first time. That’s 2.5 times the number of people who streamed the Royal Wedding earlier that year.

The exponential growth is due to a number of factors. The digital store is convenient and affordable for users, and with over 1,000 games available, it’s got a larger stock than many other digital options. Digital stores often catch flak for creating easier methods of piracy for content, but Steam is just the opposite. They’re able to assuage game producers by offering a cut of profits that’s more than double what is offered through retail outlet sales. In short, everybody wins.

Full Steam Ahead
Created by: Video Game Design School


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