In an industry that’s often woefully opaque, Steam goes against the grain by exposing a treasure trove of data for future analysis. While sites like SteamDB and Steamcharts are doing at least some of that for player counts, Steam has launched its own version of Steam Charts, an official variant that now consistently displays the top 100 highest earning and top 100 most played games on the service at any time.
It’s access to the most accurate player counts, but what’s more interesting is the earnings list. While no exact dollar amounts are shown, the placement on the list paints some clear pictures. Here are the top 10 lists for both categories as we speak, revenue and player count:
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
- slime breeder 2
- Apex Legends
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Counter Strike Global Offensive
- destiny 2
- Lost Ark
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Potions Permission
- Final Fantasy XIV Online
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – 765,000 concurrent players
- DOTA 2 – 537,000
- Apex Legends – 341,000
- PUBG – 298,000
- Lost Ark – 122,000
- GTA 5 – 117,000
- Naraka: Blade Tip – 100,000
- Team Stronghold 2 – 97,000
- Wallpaper Engine – 83,000
- Cyberpunk 2077 – 73,000
So what “narratives” emerge from this early list here? It’s not exactly a huge shock to see Modern Warfare 2 at the top here, as a hugely popular $70 game has been pre-ordered. But you’ll notice a number of free-to-play titles in the top ten, meaning they’re raking in that money on microtransactions, season passes, or expansions alone.
Notably, Destiny 2 has been in the top 100 earning games for 167 weeks the entire time it has been on Steam, and last week was apparently #2 due to pre-orders for Lightfall, its next expansion. The Elder Scrolls Online has been in the top 100 for 400 (!) weeks, suggesting it could be a lot more of a sleeper hit than many realise.
And of course, the latest Surge story, Cyberpunk 2077, fresh off a hit anime, new patch, and semi-discounted sale where it’s now the fourth-highest-grossing game on Steam, is wild for a single-player game launched nearly two years ago has been published . It’s also in the top 10 most played list and has set records for concurrent players almost every day since launching this week. The rest of the most played list is more what I would expect as I monitor this regularly through the third part of the Steam charts and I don’t see many surprises there.
In any case, this is a list I’d like to monitor fairly closely, as such detailed stats are pretty hard to come by in this overly secretive industry, where people often only share things when investors demand it or they’re trying to brag.
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