Steam may have started to reach its prime this past year, but it seems like its best is already behind it. After starting the year with its highest ever active user count of 18.5 million in January, the gaming service has seen a steady decline, reaching 15 million as of latest.
This represents a drop in active users from 38% to 31% over the period, or just over 4.5 million. The data comes courtesy of Steam Spy, which took it from SteamDB.
Rise (and Fall) of PUBG
The rise in the number of the users is attributed to the final release (version 1.0) of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on the platform.
Since then, the player count for PUBG has dropped by 2 million, or half of the game’s total users, which could explain in part the drop in Steam’s usage, too. However, that’s not the only factor.
The rise of Fortnite is another possible explanation for this, given it uses its own launcher and platform. The game has seemingly exploded this year, boasting 125 million users in June 2018. That’s incredible given that just this January, that count was around 45 million. With heavy investment in tournaments, there’s credible reason to believe that the game will have last longer than PUBG, which itself isn’t actually dead yet.
Finally, Steam itself is taking measures to offer a much more immersive experience on its platform. The service recently added Steam Chat, designed to take on Discord with its new interface and more social media-oriented features under its helm. Whether these features manage to turn the tide in its favor remains to be seen.