Interesting data from the Steam hardware survey

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rorie

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The latest Steam Hardware Survey has some interesting tidbits in it, largely related to the PUBG phenomena. Check out the OS survey, for instance:

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Also the language shift is pretty insane:

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Also it looks like U.S. players for PUBG are dropping off as it's skyrocketing in China:

I've seen some supposition that the rise in Win7 machines are via people looking to grab cheap machines for AFK farming or botting/cheating in PUBG to get cosmetic stuff to sell in the marketplace, or just hooking up older machines to Steam to play the game. Weird stuff!

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moregrammarplz

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I've fallen off of PUBG but I hear that hackers and botters have become a problem. A lot of them seem to be Chinese in origin, even on US servers. Have the devs started doing something about that?

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MattyFTM

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#3 MattyFTM  Moderator

I've heard people suggesting that using bots to farm items is not really feasible on any real scale, and the most likely cause for the increase is genuine players from China. Most games in China have a chinese publisher who never go through Steam. Even DOTA 2 and CS:GO don't go through Steam in China, Valve has a deal with Perfect World who distribute the games there. Steam is relatively rare in China as a result. But PUBG is only available on Steam, which means that Chinese players have to go through Steam, which is a rarity.

People have also been suggesting that the increase in certain hardware configurations is due to the popularity of gaming cafes in China. Most people play games in gaming cafes, which all have broadly similar hardware setups, running Windows 7 and using very similar processors and video cards.

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Panfoot

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People AFK farming for more loot to trade(or in this case sell) reminds me of the good old days of TF2.

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OurSin_360

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@mattyftm: game cafes makes sense, it would be a pretty crazy amount of cheating to affect numbers at that scale.

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Nethlem

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People in the Western hemisphere underestimate the sheer amount of Asian people living in a kinda "parallel internet" with their own social media and gaming services.
It was hilarious to watch the Steam PUBG forum when these two worlds met in a rather disruptive way; Game servers couldn't handle the load and went down, in response the PUBG Steam forums first filled with people complaining about the outage, then increasingly with Chinese threads, then threads between them complaining about all the Chinese threads, quite a pandemonium to watch.

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GundamGuru

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#7  Edited By GundamGuru

@nethlem: I don't think it's underestimation so much as the "parallel internet" situation is enforced by the Chinese government, so that the two worlds almost never allowed to collide in any meaningful way. There have even been rumors and speculation circulating lately that PUBG might get banned in China; perhaps as a pretext just so a local company could develop a home-grown (and government friendly) knockoff. How much of that is truth vs rhetoric is tough to know. However, there is evidence of protectionist policies in China with all kinds of industries (like companies having to form joint ventures just to do business). I guess people see firms like Tencent investing heavily in games and the situation with the auto industry in China and draw some parallels.

The wildest thing about this, though, is how just one game is driving it. PUBG really has become a global phenomenon. It's looking less and less like a fad and more like another contender for "game with the most players" has stepped up to play with the big boys like CSGO and League. It's pretty nuts for a game with one map and mode.

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Nethlem

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@gundamguru: Govermnent regulations have some to do with it but aren't that big of a reason because the same happens in Japan, Russia and many other countries. It's more to do with the simple fact that the language barrier segregates userbases into "language bubbles", complete with their own services and these services are often not even copy-cats but simply happened to be more successful in certain regions and thus survive/outgrow "Western alternatives".

I also don't see what's so "wrong" about protectionism at least some data protectionism, not only China does it, the US does it, the EU strives for the same just like any rational nation actor. The massive consolidation of foreign private citizens data, on US servers run by US companies, is no small liability and as the Snowden leaks have revealed US security services are well aware of the power they hold with such a data collection. In that regard, it's quite sensible not wanting to put all your eggs in one basket, especially when that one basket doesn't even belong to you.

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monkeyking1969

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That is the problem with tangible/exchangeable goods as DLC or Loot Boxes - cheaters who want to monetize them. The second you have valuable goods on unguarded/unregulated series of tubes, people WILL hijack the goods in some way. To support loot boxes, you need to be spending the money on security. If you don't want the security costs, then STOP monetize the items connected to login names.