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Over 8 million demos played during 2020's Steam Festivals (and other nifty Steam stats)

Steam's end of year data roundup offers insight into Steam Game Festival performance, Steam growth trends, and more.

Alissa McAloon

January 13, 2021

2 Min Read

Steam says it understandably saw a surge in playtime during 2020, reporting gains and new highs in everything from monthly active users, first time purchases, and playtime. That data is front and center in Steam's 2020 Year In Review, along with interesting peeks into newer Steam additions like Steam Game Festivals and its Steam Labs experiments.

Steam's seasonal Game Festivals in particular saw escalating attention as the year wore on. Steam reports that the Spring Edition saw around 559,000 demo activations during an event where only a couple dozen games were featured.

The next iteration of the event saw a larger game participant pool, over 900, and boasted 3.1 million demo activations and total wishlists increased 82 percent during the event. The final seasonal festival of the year, the Autumn Edition, reached 5.1 million demo activations by Steam's count.

As an added bonus, Steam says these digital-focused events helped it build out tools to better organize and host sales and other events in partnership with shows like PAX Online and Gamescom.

On a grander platform-wide scale, Steam reported record highs in monthly and daily active users, peak concurrent users, first time purchasers, hours of playtime, and overall games purchased. That data can all be found in the image just below.

For hardware side of things, Steam reports 1.7 million folks tried out SteamVR for the first time in 2020. Revenue for VR as a whole up 71 percent from the year prior (with 39 percent of that increase coming from Half-Life: Alyx sales) and playtime likewise increasing by 30 percent, with an average play session lasting 30 minutes.

There is, of course, much more to be found in the full post over on the Steam blog. Looking into 2021 now, the team also adds that a Steam Mobile app refresh is on its mind as well as general user experience improvements for the regular ol' Steam client, among other projects like Steam's impending (official) launch in China, new expected early this year.

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