In a recent developer announcement about Steamworks tools, Valve gave some insight into the number of players using controllers on Steam, which is higher than ever and rising. “48 million players have used a controller in a game on Steam,” writes Valve, with about 10 percent of daily game sessions being played with a controller.”
Naturally these figures vary wildly across genre: for RTS games that figure is “frequently below 1 percent” whereas “many sports and fighting games see over 70 percent of sessions played with a controller, while racing and skating games can easily have over 90 percent of players using a controller.” Third-person action games, your Assassin’s Creeds and so on, fluctuate between 40-50 percent of players using controllers, while for FPSs it’s “solidly in the range of 7-8 percent.”
The interesting aspect of this developer update beyond the figures (such as the fact controller usage on Steam has doubled in the last two years) is that Valve is better-informing developers about the tools Steam offers to customise controller support (beyond using the built-in API). That is, Valve believes these figures show that more PC developers need to take controller support more seriously: “in general, a lot of players like to play a large cross section of games on Steam with a controller—which is something many people, including those of us at Valve, find a bit surprising.”
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