Steam is quieter than usual this summer as active user counts dropped 17 per cent since January this year.
Steam goes through annual peaks and troughs, usually hitting its highest activity around January and bottoming out over the summer. This isn’t unusual for the platform.
But this year, Steam Spy creator Sergey Galyonkin claims that the decline is significantly larger than usual. Last year’s summer decline saw numbers drop 9 per cent, while this year saw a 17 per cent player plummet.
The number of people playing games on Steam and even having Steam running keeps going down since January 2018.— Steam Spy (@Steam_Spy) July 31, 2018
The share of people playing is also decreasing - from 38% to 31%.
Why do you think it is? pic.twitter.com/7wUiVoEq6Q
There are a few reasons why this may be. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds launched out of early access at the end of December, likely boosting steam user numbers over the following month. Galyonkin notes that while PUBG is still one of the most popular titles on the platform, its numbers have declined significantly.
Couple that with the fact that Fortnite, the biggest game in the world right now, uses a standalone Epic launcher, pulling more of the crowd off Steam. Indie developer Mike Bithell commented in time.
“The biggest hit right now is played via its own portal, right?”
It's summer. The hottest in a while. Game sales / play always nose dive in this period. Meanwhile, the biggest hit right now is played via its own portal, right?— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) July 31, 2018
Would really need to see a year on year comparison to glean an insight from this. https://t.co/ml1Tx0dsiU