We don't advocate real-world violence, but if you catch someone claiming PC gaming is dead, feel free to give them a wedgie, especially if he's quoting numbers that don't include online game sales. Take Steam for example. The ultra popular online PC (and Mac) gaming platform increased its year-over-year sales by 100 percent in 2011, and lest anyone chalk that up as an anomaly based on a rash of hit titles, this is the seventh straight year Steam has doubled its sales figures.
Steam is now serving more than 40 million user accounts and offers over 1,800 games. During the 2011 Holiday Sale, more than 5 million Steam users were signed on at the same time.
"Steam and Steamworks continues to evolve to keep up with customer and developer demands for new services and content," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "Support for in-game item trading prompted the exchange of over 19 million items. Support for Free to Play (FTP) games, launched in June, has spurred the launch of 18 FTP titles on Steam, with more coming in 2012. Looking forward, we are preparing for the launch of the Big Picture UI mode, which will allow gamers to experience Steam on large displays and in more rooms of the house."
It takes a robust infrastructure to do what Steam's doing, which doubled the amount of content delivered to gamers in 2011 versus 2010 to over 780 petabytes of data. To handle the increased load, Steam said it more than doubled is service capacity and deployed a new content delivery architecture to improve download rates.