Steam numbers


Guess this is the best place for a fyi, Gabe Newell is doing an AMA on Jan 17th @ 3pm pacific time.

Wonder if there will be any HL3 questions. :p


Looping back to the initial statement of this article, how many games are out there on Steam that have great reviews but little exposure?

The answer is A LOT.


Clearly that’s why everyone gets so many visual novels in their discovery queues: the genre reviews incredibly well among the people that do play them.


Introversion makes some comments of how their last game, Scanner Sombre, bombed, here:

In it, there are excerpts like this:

Scanner Sombre did make it into the top ten games on Steam on its first day, which suggests a relatively low bar for games to appear to be successful on Valve’s platform. “Our sales numbers, as dire as they are, put us in the top 25% of all >Steam games at the time,” Delay said. Morris added that earning $50,000 in revenue actually puts a game around the top 15% - “which is a bit of a nuts thing, really.”


Sucks for Introversion, but I honestly don’t understand why anyone would think that game concept would result in something more than a weird experimental niche title.


I enjoyed it for what it was, a paint the map walking sim. :)

It will recoup costs for sure when it eventually hits a humble bundle.


… and honestly, I think the title itself didn’t do them any favors.

This reminds me of when they shipped Multiwinia. I loved Darwinia, but had no desire to do a MP version so I kept clear. Lo and behold, Multiwinia had a perfectly good SP experience.


There isn’t much of a horror story here, I don’t think, it’s just the disconnect between what they thought a niche game from a company with a pretty solid hit on their hands would do, and what it actually did.

Important data for people who don’t have the luxury of having a hit though, indie games should ideally be done as a hobby or by people who won’t miss the money in case it flops, because statistically, you’re not going to get a huge paycheck out of any game.


It was always a very niche thing, but I think the point here is that even having a previous 2million hit isn’t enough to make the game known. Lots of people in gaf say they just never head of the title.


So I’ve devoted some time to do some browsing during this sale and I can say I’d never truly realized just how many awesome-looking indie games are out there. I’ve just been clicking Next (adding to my wishlist here and there) through dozens and dozens of games that look fantastic, but that were up to now completely unknown to me. It’s truly an embarrassment of riches.

The numbers are crazy. Add on top the heaps of cheap games that got on Steam under the GL program, the bundle fodder and the shovelware intended to cater solely to card/achievement hunters and I can see just how difficult it must be for any individual needle to make itself stand out among the huge pile of hay.


Would have sold a bunch more with VR support.


It already has support for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift…


Wow really? Okay, my mistake. For some reason I thought they didn’t do VR with it.

edit: oh I see, they added it in 2 months after launch.


Might have changed things if it had been there from the start, but still…


Yeah maybe, I was interested in the game from the previews but when it didn’t release with VR I kind of forgot about it.


Thanks for the article, this is interesting as is the @lordkosc article a couple above (which I think forgets the concept of niche when it comes to ratings).

Regarding the low numbers for Sombre, I think they missed the marketing formula on Steam that proved so successful for them with PA. They became the definitive example for how you do early access for an extended period of time and win. I am surprised they missed that this time around, as they worked so masterfully before. I wonder if they were thinking the PA following would show buyer’s loyalty.

As far as discovery that only a small surge is needed to get a steam rank is also evident when you examine steam spy’s numbers. which tells you they Valve continues to successfully use Steam to make bank on CS and DOTA and get others to pay for it.


6% of all Rust copies bought on Steam were refunded:


6% is lower than I expected.


…which means they made ~$50 million after Steam took their cut, if I’m mathing properly.


Here’s a good number: Valve just VAC banned 40,411 Steam accounts.

This thread is amazing.