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Steam Stats Surprise Over Episodic Content
Steam Stats Surprise Over Episodic Content
June 23, 2006 | By David Jenkins

June 23, 2006 | By David Jenkins
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Representatives from developer Valve have released detailed statistics obtained from the reporting mechanism for digital download service Steam, relating to the recent release of Half-Life 2: Episode One.

The average total playtime for the game, which is also available through normal retail channels via Electronic Arts, is 2 hours and 48 minutes, with the average session time given as 37 minutes and the average completion time 4 hours and 56 minutes. The stats also show almost 75% of players choosing to use the medium difficult level, with 19% playing on easy and the rest on hard.

To even Valve’s apparent surprise, the statistics show that only 22.87% of people who downloaded Half-Life 2: Episode One actually played through the whole game. Since the episodic content can be beaten in little more than four or five hours, Valve have suggested this could in fact be due to a bug in how the data is collected, commenting:

"Our data suggests that only half of the players that reach the final map have completed the game. This leads us to believe that either players are quitting before they see the credits, or there is a bug in how we collect this data.

Overall, 753,713 sessions of the game were logged as of press time, with 68.83 percent of users enabling the resource-heavy HDR (high dynamic range) lighting feature. If accurate, these statistics paint a useful picture of the types of users and the nature of their play pattern for episodic content. Similar statistics are expected to be released for Half-Life 2: Episode Two, due this autumn.

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