Valve have put out another of their monthly Steam Hardware & Software Survey and it puts the Linux market share figure on Steam at 0.52%. In comparison the month before was at 0.57%.
I said before, I won't write about this every month, so I wanted to touch on it again today. To get this out the way first, as a reminder we're tracking the Linux share on Steam on a dedicated page right here. Obviously, it doesn't paint a very positive picture when you simply take the percentages at face value—which you simply shouldn't do.
However, this leads me onto an important point, Valve recently did a presentation where they showed quite a large amount of overall growth:
Nearly 4 million first-time users each month, actually buying something on Steam. Their figures always blow me away, it's just an insane amount of people we're talking about overall here. This seems to be a constant too, every time Valve talk about it, they've grown tremendously.
Considering the constant growth rate of Steam, especially in markets where the primary language is Chinese, it's not surprising the Linux overall share drops. Valve's own survey shows that for Linux users, Simplified Chinese as a language option only makes up 0.95%, so when you think about how Steam is growing and in markets where it seems Linux isn't popular, it will bring down our overall market share. This is shown pretty clearly on our dedicated page, where you can pretty easily see the correlation between the Linux share dropping as the overall share of Simplified Chinese across the whole of Steam rises.
Taking all that into account, while the Linux market share on Steam has dropped, we're always talking about a percentage based on an overall number that's constantly growing. I would imagine the overall number of Linux users has increased, but to know that for sure we would need Valve to be more forthcoming about their total active users more regularly.
There's still a lot of ways Linux gaming needs to improve of course. It seems pulling in users from Asia would probably help quite a lot, but for that we need the heavy-hitting titles they seem to love like PUBG. Virtual Reality is one of the big ones right now, which Valve have been investing in getting it to work well on Linux, so eventually that side of things should improve.