Steam reports a ‘continuous increase in the number of games achieving success on Steam’ in 2019

Valve says it has seen “a continuous increase in the number of games achieving success on Steam”, and confirmed that “earning prospects for most – but not all – games improved in 2019”. 

In a deep dive on the Steam Community website, Valve detailed how new releases have been performing on the digital PC platform in the hope “this information is useful to developers”, and said it would be interested in hearing more about “whether more data-driven reports like these would be helpful to your product planning and development”.

“We are constantly examining how the growth of Steam affects new titles and what it means for developers,” the post began. “Usually, our own internal questions mirror those of many in the development community.

“Prior to 2012, games that released on Steam were hand-picked by employees here at Valve. We realised that we were probably getting in the way of success for a lot of innovative games [… s]o, in 2012, we officially launched Steam Greenlight to allow players to vote on the games that would be released.

“Then, in August 2013, our launch capacity improved with the introduction of some new internal tools, and for every month thereafter we accepted batches of at least 100 games. In June 2017, we launched Steam Direct with the intention of making the process of bringing a game to Steam more streamlined, transparent, and accessible.”

After outlining the history of how games are selected, Valve then posed a question: are more games now finding success? 

“Of course, “success” is different for each developer, so we looked at several different benchmarks of success in this analysis,” the post continued. “Regardless of how we defined success, though, we found that an increasing number of games were achieving it.”

Steam graph
Credit: Valve

First, Valve tallied the number of games earning over $10,000 in its opening two weeks, as “most recent games earning around $10,000 in the first two weeks earned between $20,000 and $60,000 over the course of 12 months following release”. Valve also decided to study “paid games (games with an up-front price tag)” and deferred analysing free-to-play games “for another study”.

Valve purports its research shows that “there’s been a continuous increase in the number of games achieving success on Steam” as well as confirmation that “most – but not all” games in 2019 saw improved earnings, with most games doing better in 2019 than in 2018 – the median game released in 2019 earning 24 per cent more during its first two weeks of sales than the median release in 2018.

“Opening the platform resulted in a large number of new titles releasing on Steam, reflecting a diversity of niches and players we couldn’t have dreamed of,” Valve said. “Creating robust discoverability tools and systems was, and still is, crucial to ensuring that games will be surfaced to the customers who will want to play them, and we are continually experimenting with improvements to these systems.”

For the full report, head to the Steam Community post.

Steam has yet again broken its own concurrent records, recently clocking up over 22 million simultaneous users. It was only last month that we reported Steam hit its highest ever concurrent users of 18,801,944, breaking the previous highest concurrent figure of 18,537,490 users set in January 2018, and then again last week, when it reached a new concurrent online user record of 20 million, with 6.2 million currently in-game.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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