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More games have released on Steam so far in 2014 than all of last year Exclusive
More games have released on Steam so far in 2014 than all of last year
May 15, 2014 | By Mike Rose

May 15, 2014 | By Mike Rose
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    7 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing, Exclusive



There have now been more games released on Steam in the first 20 weeks of 2014 alone, than during the entirety of 2013, spelling out the real need for indie developers to properly market their games.

2014 has seen a huge influx of new titles released on the popular PC games platform, thanks in part to the hundreds of games that have been recently accepted onto the platform via the Greenlight process.

As a result, the number of games released each month via Steam has increased each month during 2014, and judging by daily release figures during May, this trend is set to continue.

What this means is that, while in 2013 your new release might have shown up on the front page of Steam for a few days, you're likely to see your game drop off the front page within 24 hours of you releasing it. (And notably, the front page of Steam now automatically defaults to "Top Sellers" instead of "New Releases.")

Of course, Valve has said that it plans to get rid of Greenlight entirely, and instead convert Steam into an open platform where any developer can publish their games, with Steam users acting as the curators, empowered with the ability to make their own web-based Steam storefronts.

Whatever form Valve ends up implementing, there will certainly be increased competition for those people releasing games on the platform, and even less potential front-page promotion for your game.

Gamasutra talked to numerous affected parties about the influx of new titles releasing for Steam this year, to find out just how heavily developers are being affected.



Data for the graphs above was collected from steampowered.com's "new releases" section.


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Comments


Alan Barton
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As the barriers to entry get lower, the numbers of games will inevitably increase.

I can understand new developers wanting to learn to make games, as we were all there once, but as the barriers to entry get lower (like more engines and game making toolkits etc..), it is having the side effect of flooding the system with games that few will even be able to find, let alone ever want to buy.

When it was harder to make games, it did have the side-effect of acting like a level of quality control we are now loosing. Admitedly that was never an effective form of quality control because bad games still got through, but looking at how its going, that was the good old days compared with the increasing flood of games that are starting to appear. Finding a good game in the increasing flood of "me too games", is getting ever harder.

Bob Tokimoto
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I don't know if this is entirely true. While there are more copycats and clones than ever, truly interesting games seem to stick out even more. In the past year or so, I've seen more "retro sidescroller", zombie/survival/apocalypse FPS, Slender-esque horror, and Minecraft clones than ever. But this sea of mediocre copycatting has made games like Goat Simulator and Scraps were much easier for me to notice. If I weren't such a terrible salesman, I might be able to brag about my own unusual game, Shootin' Stuff! (redneck-themed comedy FPS with Adventure/Sim elements). It won't get attention because I couldn't sell a free buffet to a starving hobo.

Charles Cresswell
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It's not just Greenlight - a number of mobile gaming companies have been dumping their existing casual games onto Steam for the last few months. Do a search for 'hidden object' or 'casual' and its an unfortunate trend of template games which have already made the mobile market places so uninteresting.

I use to eagerly look for a new casual game on Steam as it was often a good quality point and click adventure or something else slightly unusual.

And the switch to biggest sellers as the default tab is a slightly rubbish way of dealing with this influx of crap. I hope the promised page customisation arrives soon because I am visiting the steam shop a lot less because of this trend and am actually spending more time looking for games I never finished in my library.

Aaron Oostdijk
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I'm really interested to see the new store system come into play. I really hope popular curators will come out of the woodwork to expose niche markets more effectively, aside from the obligatory EA/Ubisoft/etc stores that will be created by each publisher to promote only its own content on the Steam platform.

Initially I expect this transition to be chaotic, as there will be a large number of these storefronts competing for an established user base, and I think specialisation is going to be key in that regard. In return, this gives game creators a more focussed ability to approach and communicate with stores catering to the exact demographic they are attempting to appeal to.

The only real question I have is what happens after the dust settles, and these curations become powerful entities in their own right. Some of these will have come from a curation background in the form of reviewing content, but being a storefront gives that a completely different dynamic. It's not just their review that grants power, but their ability to push specific content to consumers. I wonder how Valve's approach to these storefronts will serve to balance this.

Kujel Selsuru
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I think this is the solution to the steam problem https://gamesrepublic.com/

James McDermott
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Perhaps you could put a bit more detail than that? That doesn't really tell anyone anything other than "hey, check this out!"

Italo Capasso Ballesteros
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I do wonder if maybe the lesser known digital stores will actually benefit with the overflow of games in steam.

Maybe GoG (as an example) will keep classic curation ala old Steam?

The original preconception I think people felt about Steam is that it has some "quality control", namely the classic filter they ussed to have. But now that they have opened the market maybe someon else will take control of that? Would that be a good idea even?

I really don't know, but at this moment it feels better to be aproved personally on something like, GoG or gamersgate or even running your small humble stroe widget than getting approval on Steam.

But oh well, I guess that theres no way to stop it from a pure logistical point of view... and in the end every digital store would want to "have all the games!!", instead of a tiresome, though more personal curation system...


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