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Friday, March 28, 2008

PC gaming is thriving, says Valve | News | Custom PC

Steam now has over 15 million accounts, with 158 per cent year-on-year sales growth

While there are plenty of console fanboys with their heads screwed on, you'll always get some who tell you that PC gaming is dead, but that's a complete load of Atari Jaguars if Valve's latest announcement is anything to go by.

Valve has just announced that its game download store Steam now has over 15 million accounts, and that its year-on-year sales have now grown by 158 per cent. 'PC gaming is thriving,' said Valve's president Gabe Newell, while noting that the industry was shifting away from traditional hard copies of games to an 'era of constant connectivity.'

While PC game sales look pretty grim in comparison to those of console games in the official charts, these statistics often don't account for huge download services such as Steam, or subscription-based games such as MMOs.

However, Newell reckons that there's a lot more to Steam's success than game downloads. Newell said that Steam 'gives us the ability to have a much better relationship with customers, not just for delivering our games, but across all aspects of our business - including the design, development, and support of our games. Features like Guest Passes, Free Weekends, Gifting, and the Steam Community have been very well received both by customers and the developers who are using Steam.'

Valve also put the Steam's recent success down to this year's launch of the Steam Community, as well as being able to offer big-name launch titles such as Call of Duty 4 and Bioshock, not to mention Valve's own successful game package, The Orange Box.

Valve recently announced that its SteamWorks set of development tools for would be made freely available to game developers, and Newell has also recently claimed that he wants Steam to have a complete archive of PC games, including LucasArts classics.
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