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A talk by Valve’s Jan-Peter Ewert at White Nights in St. Petersburg has yielded some interesting slides, shared by SteamSpy, that offer game developers a look at the metrics and motivations of the minds behind Steam.
Some of the slides call out where exactly game sales on Steam are coming from. While Steam already has a sizable user base, Valve notes that 13.5 million new first-time Steam purchasers popped up from January 1, 2018 to April 30, 2018; an average of 3.75 million a month.
Another slide such slide points out how different game submission programs have changed both the process for getting games on steam and the number of games hitting the platform. Specifically, in a slide titled ‘elephant in the room’, Valve notes that the current system, Steam Direct, allows developers to ship games without the weeks or months of uncertainty while “waiting for Valve review” that came with older systems like Greenlight or the pre-greenlight days.
That same slide points out that Steam typically saw 5 game releases per week before Greenlight, 70 per week with Greenlight, and now 180 with Direct, though its fair to assume numerous factors play a part in that gradual increase as well.
Valve has notably taken a more hands-off approach towards curating which submissions make it on Steam, something Ewert also addresses lightly in one portion of his talk. A slide titled ‘Steam is a different kind of opportunity’, included in the tweet below, notes that Valve is “not the taste police,” that “great games find their audience,” and that Steam hosts a “huge variety in scope, style, [and] mechanics” on the digital storefront.
Some slides from Valve's presentation at White Night earlier today (1/3) pic.twitter.com/wDyyIqDrEn— Steam Spy (@Steam_Spy) June 28, 2018