Steam growth continues despite PC decline

The decline in PCs is not having any detrimental effect on Steam, which according to owner Valve continues to post impressive growth.

CVG reports that Valve MD Gabe Newell told an audience at the Linuxcon event in New Orleans that Steam is not mirroring the trends seen in PC hardware.

We are looking at steady, year-over-year unit declines in PC sales, and the people in the field are the deer in the headlights," he stated. "I think we’ll see significant restructurings, or market exits, by top-five companies in the PC space. It’s looking pretty grim.

"So despite the huge declines in PC sales, on the gaming side there’s growth. Steam is going up 76 per cent year-on-year while PCs are going through double-digit declines."

These changes in the market are also the reason behind Valve’s decision to bring Steam to Linux.

"Several years ago we got very concerned about directions that the PC was going. We thought there was some bad thinking," he added.

"There were these new platforms that started to emerge, and they had this nice characteristic that [they] could control access to those platforms. If you didn’t like competing with Google, you just didn’t let them ship on your device, or you could determine how often they update. You could have control on things like pricing, and that was a very seductive opportunity which led to some poor decisions by the key players in the PC space.

"The openness of the PC as a games platform has enabled us to be somewhat immunised against the broader structural decline of the PC. PC gaming is where innovation is occurring. It’s not on the consoles, it’s not on the closed systems, it’s happening to the extent to which a games platform is open.

So on PC you have digital distribution, you have social gaming, free-to-play, MMO, trading – most interesting topics are really coming out of the PC. We’ve seen tremendous evolution of innovation in the open PC space."

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