2019 was another big year for the PC platform.
Steam user gaming hours in 2019

Steam has been around for quite some time now. In fact, 2020 marks Steam's 17th anniversary come September. 17 years is a long time for anything. If you didn't know any better, you might be sitting there right now thinking that after all this time Steam could not be improved or iterated on in any capacity. At best, all that happened was that a bunch of new games were added and they called it a year. Right?

That is where you would be wrong.

2019 was a big year for Steam and Valve wants to make damn sure you know it. Sure, a ton of games were added to Steam in 2019. According to Valve, "more new releases found success on Steam in 2019, and median earnings among all new releases also rose" when compared to 2018. Currently, details on this fairly significant feat are scarce. However, Valve says that they will release a "series of 'Steam Data Deep Dive' posts in the coming weeks."

Valve continues on to say that the number of monthly active users on Steam has increased to almost 95 million users. This lofty figure is also reflected in the fact that just a few days ago, there were more users online on Steam than ever before. Specifically, 18.8 million users were online using Steam at once on February 2, besting its previous record of 18.5 million users on January 14, 2018.

To wrap up with the idea of record breaking numbers, Valve says that the year end holiday sale was the company's "most successful sale ever." Players have also managed to amass 20.8 billion hours of gameplay in 2019.

Not to focus solely on numbers, Valve continues on to talk about the numerous improvements made to Steam throughout 2019. Some of these improvements and new additions to Steam include:

Steam Labs:Improved Discoverability via the Discovery Update for:
  • DLC
  • Top releases
More Community Interaction via:
  • Community focused blog posts
  • Monthly top sellers
  • Yearly top sellers
New means to Handle User "Review Bombs"

Improved Steam Chat for Desktop and Mobile
  • Added a mobile app
  • Added stickers
  • Added effects
Steam Workshop Improvements
  • Better at catching fake items
  • Email verification needed for Workshop submissions
  • Reducing item scams
Steam Remote Play

Steam Play for Linux

The Big Steam Library Update

Numerous SteamVR Improvements:
  • Support for almost 2 dozen headsets
  • Motion Smoothing for AMD cards
  • Improved VR View window, audio management, and settings
Steamworks Improvements:
  • New authoring tools for more visually interesting news posts
  • Newsletters published quarterly to partners
Valve continues on to talk about some of what users can look forward to in 2020. Besides the planned Data Deep Dives mentioned prior, they also plan to add better support for game soundtracks, expanding their Steam PC Cafe Program to schools, libraries, cybercafes, VR Arcades, and more. They also plan on delivering new experiments to Steam Labs. Valve is also working on "SteamVR 2.0" that will "feature a number of customer experience improvements."

The Steam Mobile App will get "a refresh to add more login types and help users secure their accounts." There will also be "more ways to reward users for participating in sale events throughout the year."

I obviously gave you the super short version of Valve's lengthy update, so be sure to go and check it all out for yourself for things I omitted.