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Steam Spy: 2016 saw record growth in game releases, but not in spending

Steam Spy: 2016 saw record growth in game releases, but not in spending

January 5, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

Sergey Galyonkin has once again published an end-of-year analysis of Steam (based largely on data gathered from his Steam Spy analytics platform) that estimates people spent roughly $3.5 billion on paid Steam games -- not on free-to-play games or DLC -- in 2016.

That number is important because it's the same as his estimate for last year, even though fewer games were released on the platform in 2015. Back in November Galyonkin estimated roughly a third of all the games on Steam had been released in 2016, and now reports 5,245 games were released on Steam last year.

This data may help devs better understand the state of the Steam marketplace, though as always it's important to take all data gathered from Steam Spy with a significant grain of salt.

Galyonkin himself is very upfront about this, noting in his findings that "The margin of error on this particular number is quite high. I used three different methods to estimate the revenue and ended up with numbers ranging from $3.3B to $3.6B."

So what's his best guess for why overall (non-F2P/DLC) Steam game revenue in 2016 (see chart embedded below) didn't climb in accordance with the ever-rising tide of Steam game releases? An apparent dearth of highly popular big-budget game releases on the platform, for one, and an overall slowdown of Steam adoption in North America and Europe, where customer interest in such games (as opposed to cheaper online games) is high.

"While Steam indeed got way more new games compared to 2015, the amount of truly big titles released this time around was lower," writes Galyonkin, suggesting that last year's "combination of GTA V, Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 is hard to beat."

For more details on how Galyonkin conducted his analysis, as well as some other interesting conclusions (for example, that survival games are out and strategy games are in), check out his full report.

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