Video Game News: Steam transferred more data in 2018 than entire Internet in 2003
Steam has recently posted some data in their 2018 year review post. There was a lot of interesting data that was shared, including the fact that Steam's service is steadily growing. In 2018, Steam had 90 million monthly users. More people are using Steam than there are people in Germany!
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North America still had the highest number of players on Steam. But in the span of 6 years, the number of players from Asia has grown massively. Steam has also mentioned that they are partnering with a Chinese firm Perfect World to launch Steam in China. The Asian market will probably dominate Steam if all goes well there.
The most interesting statistic though is the data delivery that was done from Steam. In 2014, Steam delivered 4 exabytes of data. One exabyte is about 1 billion gigabytes. In 2018, the number quadrupled and the amount of data transferred by Steam went up to 15.39 exabytes or roughly over 15 billion gigabytes of data! That's almost an incomprehensible number.
To give you an idea of how truly large that number is, the amount of data shared throughout the internet in 2003 (the year Steam launched) was 9.3 Exabytes or over 9 billion gigabytes.
What was included in that data? In 2018, there were 1.7 billion trading cards granted, the 488 million trades completed, 245 million emoticons crafted, and the 218 million screenshots posted. To keep up with all this data, Valve had to make massive improvements to their network infrastructure and data centers.
Valve has something called an "edge network". This network runs at a speed of 12 Tbps. This complicated network structure is what allows players to download games, have voice chats, carry game data and all other operations done over the internet in Steam. This network helps Valve to reduce latency to make sure players don't experience lag and network issues while playing a game.