The Steam digital distribution platform is a huge success for Valve and for PC gamers. It sets the standard for distributing new games as well as being well-known for its regular and huge sales. But with big success comes big responsibility, and Valve decided to share some new details on what it ends up dealing with each day in terms of customer support.
In a bid to improve the support experience, there's now a dedicated Steam Support Stats page showing how many support requests Steam receives and how they breakdown by category. Valve believes by sharing this data, "we'll be able to spot problems earlier, identify areas for improvement, and to ultimately create better customer support experiences."
The number of requests is surprisingly high as the chart above shows. In a 24 hour period, Steam typically sees around 75,000 support requests come in. Of those, at any one time around 8,000 await a reply from Steam customer support staff.
The breakdown of what category each request falls into is also fascinating. A snapshot of one 24-hour period where 65,142 requests were received breaks down as follows:
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
- Refund Requests: 48,264
- Account Security & Recovery: 12,391
- Game & Steam Technical Support: 2,531
- Purchase & Billing Support: 1,956
As you can see, the majority of requests are for refunds, which you'd hope is an automated system that checks eligibility and then issues a refund where appropriate without a human being involved.
In a Steam blog post, Valve freely admits that support takes a lot of work both in terms of tools and people. Earlier this year the requests waiting for response was up at 50,000. More staff and tools improvement is what got that down to today's 8,000 average. I can only imagine how much more pressure is put on support during a major sale.
Typically, Steam will respond to a support request within a few hours. If you end up waiting longer, keep that 75,000 requests per day in mind. And that's the low end. The chart clearly spikes nearer to 100,000 quite often.
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe