Steam in 2020: 50 Percent More Hours Played Than in 2019

By | January 13, 2021

Steam has released its 2020 Year in Review, which reveals that the hours played on Steam was 50.7% greater than 2019.Steam began its 2020 Year in Review by acknowledging the COVID-19 pandemic that is still ongoing, and noted that while Steam was seeing “significant growth” before the lockdowns began, video game playtime surged when people began staying at home.

This change led to new record breaking stats for Steam, including 120 million monthly active players, 62.6 million daily active players, 24.8 million peak concurrent players, 2.6 million new purchasers per month, 21.4% more games purchased compared to 2019, and the previously mentioned 50.7% more hours played compared to 2019 statistic.

The increase in people purchasing and playing games led to a huge increase of traffic, with March 2020 seeing a 30-40% increase in total traffic related to game downloads.Cyberpunk 2077 also added to that server stress, with the game breaking records for download traffic with a peak of 52 terabytes per second, which doubled the previous record. This, and so much more, led to 25.2 exabytes of data being downloaded from Steam in 2020. For reference, an exabyte is 1 million terabytes.

While Steam had announced earlier this year that it made changes to game update downloads to manage bandwidth during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has now revealed here that “various countries’ government bodies approached us and other large Internet companies to see how we could help mitigate the rise in global traffic that ISPs were seeing, because it was getting to a point where it was affecting people’s ability to work from home and their children’s remote schooling.”

Steam also revealed that it saw 104 million SteamVR sessions, 1.7 million first time SteamVR users, 71% more VR revenue, and a 30% increase in VR playtime. VR game sales rose 32% year-over-year, and that’s not even counting Half-Life: Alyx, which added another 39% on top of that number.

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