Valve leaks Steam game player counts

Oct 25, 2017
1,716
Wow I'm going to be poring over this sheet the whole day. Very interesting.

Also it's a shame that Valve quickly closed this up. They had a good excuse when killing Steam Spy last time with the GDPR compliance. This time it's pretty apparent that they just want don't want people to know numbers.
 
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Fawz

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Oct 28, 2017
689
Montreal
Very cool info to have and really puts some games into perspective. But if I understand it's tracking the amount of unique players that launched the game. This means that:
  • Family Sharing and Free Weekends likely triggers player count without necessarily being a Sale
  • Free Games or free periods where games are acquired are included
  • The numbers aren't users who launched the game and so isn't necessarily actual Players
  • It likely counts accounts used in the Dev/Testing period since Steam doesn't use a seperate enviornment
  • It doesn't differentiate the acquisition method
  • Purchase price naturally varies greatly
  • DLC and extra purchases aren't accounted for
  • It's unclear how re-releases and delistings are handled since many GOTY games are only listed once if the old one was removed from the store
 

Krejlooc

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Oct 27, 2017
11,646
Very cool info to have and really puts some games into perspective. But if I understand it's tracking the amount of unique players that launched the game. This means that:
  • Family Sharing and Free Weekends likely triggers player count without necessarily being a Sale
This is based off of achievement unlocks. You don't unlock achievements when family sharing.
 
Oct 27, 2017
861
ResetERA
Not surprised by Unturned's stats. It's a free DayZ game without monetization (outside of donating like 5 bucks to the dev with the Gold Upgrade), gets updated frequently with new features and maps, has a built-in map editor and workshop support for mods.

I'm always having a great time with it whenever someone hosts a server for our friendgroup.
 

Krejlooc

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Oct 27, 2017
11,646
Pretty sure you do get Achievements for titles launched as part of Family Sharing. I'm not home to check, but that's what's stated on the Steam Official Family Sharing Page and online forum questions.
I'm looking at my buddy's steam profile, and we have been family sharing for years, and none of his achievements come from any games I share with him. Some of which I know he'd played enough of to unlock achievements.

In fact, nothing from our shared games shows up on his account, not even under recent activity.

The only thing I can think of is either that page is wrong, or maybe achievements unlock locally but not on your account or something.
 

Durante

Dark Souls Man
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Oct 24, 2017
4,150
Dark Souls 3 at 3.3 million is extremely remarkable. And so is Nier:A, perhaps even more so given the franchise. Both did huge numbers at full price.
(What do both have in common? They aren't late ports for one)

TIS-100 >>> Shenzhen I/O > Opus Magnum.

What?????
Well, I mean TIS-100 is much cheaper, and it's also totally amazing.

FF12 released at a really dumb price.
Is it really that dumb? They sold quite a few copies at that price, and they can still sell more at lower price points. If you sell 100k at $50 and later on another 200k at $20 you made more money than if you sold 300k at $20 and another 200k at $10.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,643
Dark Souls 3 at 3.3 million is extremely remarkable. And so is Nier:A, perhaps even more so given the franchise. Both did huge numbers at full price.
(What do both have in common? They aren't late ports for one)



Square are still behind in that regard. At least Dragon Quest XI is releasing day and date in the west as the PS4 version.

Seems like Namco are still the only ones who have gotten with the program.
 
May 29, 2018
613
Looking over the data on Ars's article for a couple things in my wheelhouse:

Point & Click Adventures:
* Best I can find is Deponia at ~750k
* Best LucasArts seems to be Grim Fandango Remasterd at ~510k. MI2:SE is ~288k, DoTT is ~265k. Full Throttle is MIA.
* No Thimbleweed Park
* Nothing from Wadjet Eye
* Nothing from Sierra (nu-King's Quest is likely a flop as expected)

There is probably some confirmation bias but looking at the numbers, it's hardly surprising that Telltale went full-tilt into their current model. (The Walking Dead at ~2m. Wolf Among Us is ~1m and Tales of the Borderlands is ~500k) Or why "walking simulators" have come into their own finally. With some exceptions, most of the well known point & click adventures seem to cap out at around ~250k. That's pretty bleak odds. (Situation might be slightly better on GOG which has catered to fans of that genre for longer).

Might & Magic franchise:
Heroes of Might & Magic III - HD Edition at ~591k
Clash of Heroes at ~309k

No wonder Ubi put that franchise on ice :( Could be better on GOG or UPlay but that doesn't paint a good picture at least for the more recent games. Heroes V is sold on Steam but lacks achievement support.

And I'm pleased to see SolForge at #1000. Such a shame that game had to die.

Also it's a shame that Valve quickly closed this up. They had a good excuse when killing Steam Spy last time with the GDPR compliance. This time it's pretty apparent that they just want don't want people to know numbers.
I wonder if part of that is that it could possibly give some insight into how well they're doing financially. The 30% cut of every sale is one of the worst kept secrets in the industry, so if you can track the user numbers over a long enough period of time and account for sales + free weekends you could theoretically work out how much cash they're making in a given month. As a privately held company they probably don't want to disclose more than they have to.
 

Chekhonte

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Oct 31, 2017
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Dark Souls 3 and PtD edition have twice the sales individually of DSII. I would assume that they would have all sold about the same or have been a steady rise upward with each sequel.
 

Chekhonte

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Oct 31, 2017
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I'm honestly surprised how high Portal (1?) is... that's nuts to me.
That game was on everyone's lips for about 2 years. It doesn't surprise me considering that it's practically free during sales.

I remember the weatherman on my local station saying the cake is a lie
 

Krejlooc

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Oct 27, 2017
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Huh? I thought all the l4d2 dlc was free on pc
I didn't say they made money through DLC, I said they made money by giving L4D2 away. They talked about this at Steam Dev Days in 2014. They were experimenting with different monetization methods. This was around the time they had started doing cross-game markets, where you could unlock items in one valve game and trade them in other valve games. So, they tried giving away both Portal 2 and L4D2 to see what would happen. Because, by doing so, they increased the number of people in the item trading pool, this drove up the demand for rarer items (because now more people were shopping for them because giving those games away expanded their market). Valve takes a few cents off of every item sold on the market. At dev days, they revealed that giving those games away translated into enormous profit through the market manipulation.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,584
Thanks

I have absolutely no idea why my friend's achievements aren't showing up then. Oh well.
I think you can't see them because they don't own the game. From what I understand, in their profile you can only see stuff that's bound to their account. Games played through Family Sharing aren't owned, so while the achievements are unlocked and tied to the account, the games themselves are not.
 

Krejlooc

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Oct 27, 2017
11,646
I think you can't see them because they don't own the game. From what I understand, in their profile you can only see stuff that's bound to their account. Games played through Family Sharing aren't owned, so while the achievements are unlocked and tied to the account, the games themselves are not.
But then how would they show up in SirFritz's screenshot above?
 

Krejlooc

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Oct 27, 2017
11,646
I mean, Valve doesn't outright say they get a cut. But whenever the topic comes up with devs there's always this air of "well... We're not supposed to say anything but...". Which is why I said it's a poorly kept secret.
they talked about their cut in a lecture at Steam Dev Days on embracing UGC.

the reason devs aren't supposed to talk about their specific contracts is that the contract between them and valve is classified as a trade secret. But it's not really a secret what the standard cut is.

Bonus: Sometimes, valve will actually take less than 30% depending on the situation.
 
Oct 28, 2017
452
Good to see some actual numbers.

Also, just how rich is Eric Barone now? Nearly 5 million unique players for Stardew Valley (on Steam alone!) has got to more than make up for all that work put into it over the years.
 
Oct 28, 2017
69
I wonder if part of that is that it could possibly give some insight into how well they're doing financially. The 30% cut of every sale is one of the worst kept secrets in the industry, so if you can track the user numbers over a long enough period of time and account for sales + free weekends you could theoretically work out how much cash they're making in a given month. As a privately held company they probably don't want to disclose more than they have to.


It really isn't their data to give away, it is the developer/publisher's. If the dev/pub wants to share their data, they can without asking Valve. But Valve can't give away Bethesda's or anyone else's sales data. Steam is a marketplace not a publisher.
 

Durante

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Oct 24, 2017
4,150
Dark Souls 3 and PtD edition have twice the sales individually of DSII. I would assume that they would have all sold about the same or have been a steady rise upward with each sequel.
DS2 sales are split rather evenly between the original release and SotfS.
DS1 was given away at some point, and extremely cheap at others.
So taking both of these into account, the full-price sales / revenue are likely on a rise over the 3 so far.
 

Chekhonte

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Oct 31, 2017
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DS2 sales are split rather evenly between the original release and SotfS.
DS1 was given away at some point, and extremely cheap at others.
So taking both of these into account, the full-price sales / revenue are likely on a rise over the 3 so far.
That's insightful. Thanks. I didn't see that it was the scholarship edition.
 
May 29, 2018
613
they talked about their cut in a lecture at Steam Dev Days on embracing UGC.

the reason devs aren't supposed to talk about their specific contracts is that the contract between them and valve is classified as a trade secret. But it's not really a secret what the standard cut is.

Bonus: Sometimes, valve will actually take less than 30% depending on the situation.
Ah. Didn't see that before. Thanks for clarifying!