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Steam reaches 90m monthly active users

Halt on new-game licenses in China buoy Steam's market presence as Tencent continues to suffer

Steam's monthly active user count has grown by 23 million in just over a year, according to figures from Valve.

Presented at Melbourne Games Week, it was revealed that Steam now has over 90 million MAUs, compared to 67 million last year.

Valve has also seen its daily active users grow to 47 million, up from 33 million last year; it's peak concurrent users have yet to exceed the 18.5 million record set in January, during the height of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' popularity.

This increase runs contrary to July figures from SteamSpy which showed a drop in the share of active users playing a game at a given time over the same period, from 38 per cent to 31 per cent.

The growth spike is at least partly attributable to the 30 million users in China, up from 15 million last year, according to market intelligence firm Niko Partners.

Steam's unsanctioned position within the Chinese market has only gained prominence in recent months, amid a halt in new-game approvals by the government.

The platform gained popularity due to DOTA 2, Niko Partners' analyst Daniel Ahmad said on Twitter, but has grown to thanks to localised games, regional pricing, local payment methods and a "wide variety of games banned/blocked in China" which are available on Steam.

Valve is currently working with publisher Perfect World to create a China-only version of Steam, which would cater to the government's strict censorship laws.

Tencent -- which operates the government-endorsed PC games storefront WeGame -- continues to see its value plummet, hampered by the lockdown which even resulted in the removal of Monster Hunter: World from the sale on the platform.

Figures from September showed the tech giant had seen $190 billion wiped from its value since January; as of October 8, that figure was $220 billion.

A source close to the matter recently told GamesIndustry.biz that the Chinese government would likely be unconcerned by this precipitous decline if it interfered with the current public health agenda.

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