With most of us spending much more time at home than usual in 2020, it's hardly a shock that we spent many of those hours playing games. Valve has revealed Steam stats that show just how much we relied on games to get us through lockdowns and the shift to working from home.
Total hours played on Steam games skyrocketed by over 50 percent, from 20.8 billion in 2019 to around 31.3 billion. The platform pulled in a horde of new players as well. Each month, an average of 2.6 million people bought a Steam game for the first time. Valve says Steam hit new highs on other fronts, including monthly active users (120.4 million), daily players (62.6 million), peak concurrent users (24.8 million) and game purchases (21.4 percent more than 2019).
The fact that Steam usage soared shouldn't be too surprising. Games that people can play with friends - such as Among Us, Fall Guys and Phasmophobia - proved to be massive hits in 2020 as folks sought ways to stay connected with others while remaining physically distant from them. There were a bunch of major single player games that made a splash too. For instance, despite its many, many issues, Cyberpunk 2077 pulled in millions of players.
Valve noted some other Steam highlights from throughout the year, including updates like the personalized news hub and support for PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers. Looking ahead, Valve touched on some of its plans for 2021, such as the rollout of Steam in China, a rework of the mobile app and polishing the overall user experience.