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November marked 7 months of Linux rising on Steam & 5 months above 1%

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I think we can now firmly say that we are the 1%? Another month is down as so the latest Steam Hardware Survey numbers are out and it continues being very positive for Linux gaming.

As we show on our dedicated Steam Tracker, we've now seen the Linux user share on Steam remain above 1% for 5 months and we've seen 7 months of continuous growth.

Valve usually does an announcement of user numbers early each year, so hopefully in 2022 they can give us an updated monthly active user count to see where we are compared to before. Going by their last numbers, there would be approximately 1,396,640 monthly active Linux users on Steam.

We're still a while away from seeing how the Steam Deck will affect this, if at all, as it depends on how Valve will be tracking the number of SteamOS 3 devices. With their original SteamOS 2 that was for Steam Machines, it wasn't properly included as Big Picture Mode does not get the survey. This time they're redesigning the UI, so hopefully it will be included or they might just show how many people have one like they do for VR kits.

We do also know that SteamOS 3 will be released as a standalone operating system, as confirmed by Valve, so we may even see more devices and people using it.

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Zlopez Dec 2, 2021
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I was actually surprised to get the Survey popup yesterday. So I immediately filled it and sent it. It was some time till I saw the survey last time.
CatKiller Dec 2, 2021
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QuoteWe're still a while away from seeing how the Steam Deck will affect this, if at all, as it depends on how Valve will be tracking the number of SteamOS 3 devices. With their original SteamOS 2 that was for Steam Machines, it never seemed to be included.

As I understand it, it wasn't that they didn't include SteamOS devices in the survey, it was that they hadn't worked out how to provide the survey pop-up in Big Picture Mode. They'll have the unified UI framework with the Deck, so survey consent should be a solvable problem, and they do want the hardware survey results to be indicative of all the hardware that runs Steam.
elmapul Dec 2, 2021
last year:


how things were in 2017:


prediction made on 2017 about the future:


one thing that people must remember is:
we arent 1% of the gaming market, we are 1% of 23% of the gaming market.

i dont know how those statistics will count steam deck, but one thing is for sure, if we manage to steal away users who would purchase an switch to play on the go, nintendo take too long go relase switch 2 or switch 2 dont sell well, and most people dont install windows on ther deck, then we can get an significant part of the market, otherwise , our relevance in the market is lower than the margin for errors in those statistics whetever source you use.


Last edited by elmapul on 2 December 2021 at 11:34 am UTC
Eike Dec 2, 2021
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Quoting: elmapuli dont know how those statistics will count steam deck, but one thing is for sure, if we manage to steal away users who would purchase an switch to play on the go, nintendo take too long go relase switch 2 or switch 2 dont sell well, and most people dont install windows on ther deck, then we can get an significant part of the market, otherwise , our relevance in the market is lower than the margin for errors in those statistics whetever source you use.

Well, being one percent of a 37 billion Dollar market is representing 370 million dollars - just as 0.23% of a 160 billion market is.

So I'm not sure it's helpful to put PC gaming and mobile "gaming" into the same pot (diagram). You could as well make a huge diagram including all digital entertainment, or all recreational activities, and have the Linux gaming market look even smaller. But the actual size is the same.
elmapul Dec 2, 2021
Quoting: EikeWell, being one percent of a 37 billion Dollar market is representing 370 million dollars - just as 0.23% of a 160 billion market is.

So I'm not sure it's helpful to put PC gaming and mobile "gaming" into the same pot (diagram). You could as well make a huge diagram including all digital entertainment, or all recreational activities, and have the Linux gaming market look even smaller. But the actual size is the same.

i understand your point, but its a bit too hard to isolate the variables here.

1)there are an intersection of publics,some people only play mobile games, the games we call "casual games" others play both "hardcore" and "casual games", the same gamer can play both types of games or just one of then.
some people quit playing on gameboy/3DS or never touched one because they think their phones are good enough, others think mobile games suck but know that handheld games are still good (no pay to win bullshit), some people play on their phones but play ports of console/pc games or games made with the same business models (no pay to win, gatcha etc), others play mobile games on their pc, its too hard to isolate then all, but i will agree that my division made little sense.

lets isolate mobile for a moment, usually the games that are made for pc and console are the same ones (Aside from exclusives)
so i can say:

console 45.2b + pc 36.9b , totally relevant industry: 82,1 b
then there is the margin of error for people playing mobile games on pc or "ports" on mobile, but on avarege they should cancel each one.

finally from those 36.9 b, we are 1% (about 369 millions) so we are 369 million out of an 82,1 billion industry.
so we are 0,449% not 0,23%


the question is: will stake holders care about us?
Sputnik_tr_02 Dec 2, 2021
I think it's a good time for Valve to push the Steam on Chrome Os officially. There was a rumor about it long ago. With that and Steam Deck we may finally break the cycle.
mr-victory Dec 2, 2021
Okay, we are small for sure. Linux share is %0.xx or %1.xx or perhaps %2.xx depending on where you look at. But we are stronger than ever. And we are growing. Normal, non-hacker, non-tinkerer are installing linux to their boxes and using it for gaming. And it works.
Instead of thinking about how small we are, we should look for ways to increase it. Especially in these times where we can make public linux usage a reality.
mr-victory Dec 2, 2021
Quoting: Sputnik_tr_02I think it's a good time for Valve to push the Steam on Chrome Os officially.
Why do you think that ChromeOS support will help linux? ChromeOS is mostly used for education and managed by schools, which means that most users would not be able to install Steam if it was officially available. Also someone who really wants to play on a Chromebook would install Linux (or Windows) right away.
elmapul Dec 2, 2021
370 million dollars may sound like a lot, but its not, the cost of production of an modern game can go easy to something like 200~250 millions, and those companies dont make games for margins of profit lower than 20%.
not to mention that the money dont belong to a single person who might be an good person that believes in linux/free software and want to see it suceeed, it belong to a bunch of stake holders so its very unlikely we can convince all of the parties involved to support us.

steam deck is our best argument.

anyway

since a lot of people have some brand loyality, i think we can see the console market by the generations that still sell new games nowadays, ps vita wont relase any new game :
https://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2021/07/20/ps-vita-last-releases-new-games/



Nintendo has: 3ds 75.95m + switch 94.5m ( 170, 45m)
Sony has: playstation 4 116.7m + playstation 5 14,9m (131,6m)
Microsoft has: xbox 1 50.5m + xseries 9.20 (59,7 m )

the users from 3DS are migrating to switch, users from PS4 migrating to PS5, and xbox one to x series, of course there are exceptions, some people chose an different vendor each gen, some have more than one platform.
the point i'm trying to make is that thos 45.2 billions will be split across those 3 platforms unless valve can take an slice of it to increase their own.

this should give us an general notion of how many units an steam deck must sell before linux became relevant...
now we need to see how many people are still purchasing games on platforms from the last gen how many did the switch completely to only buy on new gen (its easier to especulate that for playstation and xbox than switch)
StenPett Dec 2, 2021
Quoting: ZlopezI was actually surprised to get the Survey popup yesterday. So I immediately filled it and sent it. It was some time till I saw the survey last time.

I actually got it on *both* my machines last month, so that's one for Pop OS, and one for Elementary OS...
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