Thanks to Steam PC gaming is rather healthy but what are the numbers? Who is playing what and for how long? What are the habits of Steam gamers?
These are questions that have not really been answered so Ars Technica took it upon themselves to come up with a system that would scrape user profile pages for data and then compile hundreds of thousands of pages into data that was understandable. While not 100% accurate, the results are pretty close to what is happening on Steam based on sales figures already revealed by developers and what we know about Steam gamers and their purchasing/playing habits.
PC gamers have a tendency to purche games on Steam then never actually playing them. Tim here at IncGamers slots right into this bracket because when a sale hits he tends to pick up as many titles as possible that he’s not played. The data compiled reveals that a rather hefty 26% of Steam users have never played games they have purchased. Ouch!
Unsurprisingly the top games played on Steam are Valve’s own creations with DOTA 2 sitting firmly at the top of the pile followed by Team Fortress 2. The first game that’s not a Valve property to make that list is Civilzation 5 and that’s holding the fifth place slot.
When it comes to actual play time by player, the charts look very different. In top spot is Football Manager 2014 proving that budding football managers are prepared to invest a serious amount of time playing with their fictional teams. There are some rather odd entries too. Who would have thought gamers would spend so much time in games such as Farm Simulator 2013 ploughing fields.
With DOTA 2 being the most popular Steam title when it comes to playing games through Steam it’s no huge surprise it tops the most hours played on Steam for a single title.
While the statistics are interesting, when it comes to working out what gamers are really investing their time in it’s not that helpful. Single player games will not be replayed, strategy games may soak up longer play sessions, and you can only play games such as DOTA 2 by using Steam in the first place. The only way to really get a handle on what’s popular is by breaking these stats down further by genre and type. That would be a mountain of work but these figures from Ars are certainly interesting, even if they don’t bring too many new facts to the table.
You can soak up all their findings here.