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New report reveals most popular games on Steam
New report reveals most popular games on Steam
April 16, 2014 | By Mike Rose

April 16, 2014 | By Mike Rose
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    13 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Ars Technica has an interesting report this week that delves into Steam sales and user play-time statistics, apparently tracking public Steam database information to get a broader overview of which games are most popular on the platform.

Ars has put together some PHP/MySQL coding that trawls through thousands of Steam user profiles each day, pulling data on which games users own and how many hours they've played. From this, the site is able to estimate the percentage of Steam users who own each game.

The chart below, for example, shows the most popular games on Steam by ownership, and it's clear that Valve's first-party games dominate user game libraries. It's worth noting, of course, that both Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 are free-to-play, while Half-Life 2: Lost Coast comes free with the purchase of various Valve-published games.

The two-page report also offers details on which games have been most played, how many games have sold copies in the millions, and details on how the top six games on Steam by playtime, have been played nearly as much as every other remaining game on Steam combined. It's well worth a read.

steammeter-graphs-0404.001.png


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Comments


Jennis Kartens
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Interesting, though this has to be taken with care.

For example the "playtime" measuring is very unreliable and soley based upon *.exe-runtime, including launchers and excluding time not actually played. Games that come with ingame tracking often have entirely different numbers as Steam in my case. There are also games that, while available over Steam, do not require Steam to run.

Nice article never the less.

Kaze Kai
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So what's the point of this? It's just saying what everyone else already knows - F2P games, Valve games, and huge mainstream games are played by the most people, big deal.

Lars Doucet
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They now have full access to how many sales there are of *every* game on Steam. Seeing how we've been starving for data on PC game sales, this is incredibly relevant.

Josh Waters
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I read this elsewhere and it was pretty interesting. Who knew Football Manager 2014 would be so popular? (Though I suppose that would only be surprising to Americans like me, in retrospect.)

Daniel Erickson
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This is actually incredibly important information. People who have been using VGChartz, for instance, would be massively underestimating the sales of Civ V, as the website clearly was only getting retail channels. Note the size of the discrepancy:
http://www.vgchartz.com/game/43507/sid-meiers-civilization-v/

Theresa Catalano
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Not a single game on that list that I enjoy. I wish the mainstream wasn't so completely different from me, but oh well.

Josh Waters
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Did you look at page two of the original article? They had games like Terraria and Football Manager 2014 make it on Total Hours Played. And then on the lists for Median and Mean hours played per owner, I see stuff from Mount and Blade to Farming Simulator 2011 to Football Manager 2014, which was on the top of both. These games have some diehard fans.

Theresa Catalano
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Yeah, I don't really get it. Lists like these make me feel like the video game world has passed me by. I guess I'll just keep enjoying my niche games and try not to worry about it.

Chris Clogg
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I guess CS will never die haha.

Freek Hoekstra
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itersting to me is the amount of valve games on steam:
first 11 games are from Valve. and 16 out of 20 games is theirs, (including garry's mod although one might argue it's not theirs)

that is a massive chunk of the market. that is huge!

Daneel Filimonov
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I'd rather have the curators of a platform be the ones leading it, than them being under the mercy of those that they serve.

Kyle Redd
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I'm a little confused on this: All F2P games are automatically added to every Steam user's library as they are released, so why aren't the ownership numbers identical for all of them?


Edit: And after examining the article further, the most interesting stat to me is the average hours played per owner. But they set the minimum number of owners too low at 50,000. I would really like to see another chart with the minimum at something more like 10,000, to see if any of the smaller indie titles show up.

Justin Kovac
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It seems once a F2P game is added/installed, it counts as played on the profile. I have DOTA 2 in my library, but since I never installed it it does not show up on my profile. (added via early access key ages ago). A clean account has nothing in it's library or profile.

It would be nice to see a non F2P analysis to show accurately how many purchased games go unplayed.


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