Steam's monthly active players went from 120M in 2020 to 132M in 2021.
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Valve has once again rolled out a little "year in review" for their Steam platform. Though coming a bit later in the year than their 2020 year in review, this look back at the previous year is still full of interesting little details.

According to the 2021 Year in Review for Steam, Valve says they saw 132 million monthly active users. These users spent about 38 billion hours on Steam in 2021, which is a 21% increase over 2020. Player spending increased 27% when compared to 2020. Of those buying content through Steam, 2.6 million were first-time purchasers. Valve says that this is about the same rate of growth that they saw during the year in which the global pandemic really started to kick off.

Valve also gives some special mentions to the fact that both Sony and Microsoft have brought over some of their biggest titles to the PC platform throughout 2021. VR also saw some love with Valve mentioning that VR use grew by 11% in 2021 while unique play sessions in VR grew by 22%.

The lengthy news post continues on to talk about the numerous updates made to Steamworks. Valve also notes how their various marketing and community updates, such as the Steam Next Fest, led Steam users to wishlisting upwards of 22 times more games than they would normally.

There is a ton of additional information contained in this latest Year in Review, so be sure to check it out! One thing that I found super interesting here is that Valve delivered almost 33 exabytes of content to people in 2021. That is a 30% increase over 2020. Valve says that 33 exabytes is roughly equivalent to 330 million people in the United States all downloading a 100GB game.

The best part about that 33 exabyte figure is that it was done while cutting power usage at various Steam data centers by upwards of 50%. Valve notes that they have reduced their physical footprint and power usage thanks to improved CPU capacity and capability. As an example, they note that for their Los Angeles servers, they cut power usage by 50% "even while delivering more and faster downloads to customers."