29 December 2015

SteamSpy Figures Reveal The Best-Selling Steam Games In 2015

Some of you are probably already familiar with Sergey Galyonkin. He’s the fellow who created SteamSpy, a custom-made API which can track all sorts of sales and user data on Steam. From a stats point of view, he’s always worth keeping an eye on. Recently he uploaded the data for the best-selling games of the year on Steam, as well as sorting it by country. Only the most popular countries have been covered by the sales figures, as the rest didn’t sell enough units to provide reliable data.

What will surprise no one, but it’s still absolutely astonishing, is that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was the best-selling game globally on Steam this year. In total it’s sold just north of 5.6 million copies. Which is staggering for a three-year-old game. GTA V and Fallout 4 round out the top three with some impressive sales numbers, but it’s Rocket League that’s the other stand-out achiever. The fourth best-selling game on Steam in 2015; just shy of two million players have picked up this breakout indie hit. It’s interesting also to note the popularity of older games on Steam. Unlike console gaming, PC gamers have access to pretty much their entire back catalogue, which is why you still see users digging out the original The Witcher, Fallout 3 or Left 4 Dead 2. 

If you strip back the best-sellers list to just those released in 2015 it’s a far different beast. There’s some really impressive numbers from a range indie titles, with Undertale being a notable one. It’s only been out two months and it’s already smashed through 500,000. Creeping in near the bottom is Batman: Arkham Knight, which still sold through close to half a million units despite the dreadful launch. These figures are discounting those who opted for refunds as well, so this is people who actually chose to keep the game. 

I was hoping to glean something out of the country by country breakdowns, but there isn't the greatest deal of difference between them. Here in the UK we seem to be the biggest fans of GTA V, while Stateside they go nuts for a bit of Fallout 4. There are a couple of patterns on offer too. Eastern Europe doesn't take as kindly to Rocket League as the rest of the globe, but they do love their Medieval swords and sorcery. Chivalry is right up there in Russia, along with the entire The Witcher trilogy and, bizarrely, Dead Island. SteamSpy started in April so missing some games here which may have had strong launches. Notably Dying Light, which I'd expect to be in these lists. It does just about make it into 25th place in Turkey, no doubt due to being set there, but nowhere near the sort of figures you'd expect.  There's some noticeable absentees as well, such as Life is Strange, as well as the lack of any Telltale games whatsoever in any list. Perhaps the episodic bubble has burst? One massive omission is in Turkey, where there's place for Fallout 4 in the top 25. I did some checking around and it doesn't appear as if it was banned in the region, so I'm not sure what's going on there.