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Valve Reveals Steam's 2016 Top Earners -- Including 'No Man's Sky' ( 99

An anonymous reader quotes PC Gamer: In a surprise announcement today to kick off 2017, Valve has revealed the 100 best-selling Steam games of 2016... Although the "Top Sellers" section of Steam gives a constant sense of what's selling now, Valve hasn't previously compiled an annual list of which Steam games earned the most money... Rather than ranked in order from 1-100, the list is separated into tiers, from Platinum to Bronze, based on revenue (as opposed to copies sold)... Doom didn't crack the top 12, but it may have gotten close: it's ranked somewhere between 13th and 24th
That second-place Gold tier included more modern throwbacks to classic games, including Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20-Year Celebration. Meanwhile, No Man's Sky, which got off to a rocky start this summer before its massive November update, still turned up in the top "Platinum" tier for revenue earned in 2016. (And it's now discounted 40%.)

In fact, "As an extension of the Winter Sale, all but six of these games are on sale," reports PC Gamer. The other top-earning Steam games were Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Grand Theft Auto V, Civilization VI, and DOTA 2 (which is free to play), as well as Rocket League, XCOM 2, Dark Souls III, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Fallout 4, Total War: Warhammer, and Tom Clancy's The Division.
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Valve Reveals Steam's 2016 Top Earners -- Including 'No Man's Sky'

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  • by godrik ( 1287354 ) on Sunday January 01, 2017 @04:59PM (#53589439)

    Interestingly, about half of the game in that top 100 list are available for Linux. That is about the same number available for Mac. Obviously they are all available for windows.

    I have been casually playing on Debian using steam. And I do find enough game to keep me entertained. I am not sure whether Unity, steam OS, or the need to port games to mobile systems contributed to the increase in gaming support for Linux. But Linux definitely seems to have reasonable gaming options.

    Opinions ?

    • Im going with steamOS being the pusher, and valve's clout behind it. Anything on steam that runs on linux is marked as SteamOS+Linux supported and valve probably tried to push as many devs as possible to do steamOS releases

      SteamOS is fairly nifty. I had been using a link I bought during the last sale basically as a media streamer from my desktop, but having done a gaming build this summer I decided to throw my old gaming box in an htpc case and throw steamOS on there. It is a nice cross between having deskt

      • when the Windows Store went *pop*. If that new games for windows thing they pushed with Killer Instinct & Forza had taken off maybe Valve would get the jeebees scared enough to go back to it, but right now it's looking kinda tepid.
        • by Trongy ( 64652 )

          Back in the days of the PowerPC based Macs, Apple maintained an internal x86 build of OS X, not because they had immediate plans to release it as a product, just to be ready to counter competitive threats.

          I see Steam using Linxu/steamOS for the same purpose. Linux game sales on steam account for around 1% of the total, so I doubt anyone is making money from them. However they keep maintaining steamOS and pushing it at their developer days.

          Most Microsoft products were not successful from version 1.0. Micros

      • Im going with steamOS being the pusher, and valve's clout behind it.

        I think that the reason is more simple than that. Steam got a client on Linux before SteamOS became a thing. Ever since then, the number of Linux games on Steam has doubled each year. SteamOS got a lot of press (and I am sure that has had some effect), but just offering an easy way to sell and install Linux games made the platform more viable for the smaller developers.

        Add to this the ease to develop for Linux by just selecting another target platform with the game engines (which also now have free versions

    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday January 01, 2017 @05:23PM (#53589543)

      I'd say the most significant factor is that Unity and Unreal engines are multi-platform. Steam's native support certainly contributed, of course, but it's very difficult for a game developer to justify spending a lot of engineering effort to support 1% of the market unless you have some significant resources to spend.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's viable. Tho you still need to cherish and praise any AAA devs who put out linux versions of their games. It's still a fan service. The world needs to collapse and rebuilt to get EA, Blizzard or Ubisoft to put out linux games.
      Indie devs consistently support linux.
      Anyways I suggest to switch to Ubuntu as most devs use that to test games.

    • almost all of the games run slower than on windows, with some few exceptions. still, it's a lot better than before.

    • Interestingly, about half of the game in that top 100 list are available for Linux. That is about the same number available for Mac. Obviously they are all available for windows.

      I have been casually playing on Debian using steam. And I do find enough game to keep me entertained. I am not sure whether Unity, steam OS, or the need to port games to mobile systems contributed to the increase in gaming support for Linux. But Linux definitely seems to have reasonable gaming options.

      Opinions ?

      I only do impulse purchases of games that run on Linux. Which in the category of strategy games that I play is basically all of them. It is very viable. The only problems are games demanding high-end graphics. X-COM 2 for instance ran on Linux, but already had a few graphical problems on Windows, and more and worse performance on Linux.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        How does DRM/copy protection work on Linux? On Windows it usually requires some dodgy ring-0 driver to be installed, or at least admin level permissions to prevent the game code being ripped. I'm guessing most Linux games don't require the root password just to load up.

    • 30% my collection has Linux ports and that excludes most of the AAA titles, you can check on [] there is a calculator which shows your account value and other things.

      The Linux filter is dead last in the list and you have to scroll to get to it - rather telling unfortunately.

      It's definitely getting better but not enough to ditch Windows 7. I guess it depends on whether what you want to play/buy is listed there.

      There are also some non-Steam things that work with Wine like I play Hearthstone which ru

    • I game exclusively on Linux with Steam. Works pretty good for me and I have a blast. The selection isn't as good as Windows but, hey, I can only play one game at a time.

      • by kuzb ( 724081 )
        Most gamers aren't willing to cut their nose off to spite their face, which is why Linux remains unpopular for gaming.
        • It's called priorities. Everything is a trade off, and gaming for me is just a pastime. It's not a job, e.g., front-end development where it's useful to be up on the latest happenings to maintain employment mobility. I use Linux to get work done, and occasionally I fire up Portal to blow off a little steam. That is precisely the opposite of cutting my nose off despite my face so you can stick your pretentious bullshit up your ass.

          • by kuzb ( 724081 )
            Another guy who's a webdev that doesn't want to call himself a webdev. You know what's really easy? Running a virtual machine. Not only can you mirror your production environment to work but the host OS you use ceases to matter.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      I think that for playing alone, I could now be reasonably content with what's on offer now. There are enough games on Windows that I don't get around to playing them all, so basically it'd just narrow the field. But I have friends and we play games like GTA V and Overwatch and I don't want to be left out. Dual booting is extremely annoying. Buying two high end graphics cards is out. So as much as my inner nerd wants to say yes, it's still no. I might put in my previous graphics card and play lighter titles

    • by Kirth ( 183 )

      Around 24% of all games on Steam are available on Linux. So, yes.

      On a related note, Linux gamers seem to make up somewhere around 1.5%. So maybe Doom would be on Place 12 if it hadn't released Windows only.

  • Analysis (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Sunday January 01, 2017 @05:10PM (#53589489)

    Looking at the list, half of the Platinum earners are RPGs and strategy games, with 3 shooters. Of the Gold earners, 9/12 are shooters. Of the Silver earners, 6/16 are strategy/simulation games. Throughout, many of the highest earners are zombie-themed, open-world, or survival sandbox games. There are 1, 2, 2, and 3 free-to-play games in the Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze categories respectively. Yes, the highest-earning f2p game is Dota2.
    This suggests that niche titles (RPGs, simulation/strategy titles) are some of the best-sellers on PC, as these genres have traditionally been under-served on consoles (think Diablo 1 on PSX compared to Baldur's Gate, rather than a consolified RPG like Witcher 3).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      the highest earning f2p game that does not have valve's name on it (and so, not earning valve both sales AND commissions) is Warframe []. considering that steam is perhaps the least-used platform warframe is available on, that's a pretty huge thing. (warframe is also on ps4 and xbone, and available as a standalone installer, which most pc players use)

  • by GrBear ( 63712 ) on Sunday January 01, 2017 @06:00PM (#53589701)

    I find it particularly confusing how a game rated "Mostly Negative" still had the highest sales revenue. At first I thought it was based on sales and didn't include refunds.. but apparently it's based on revenue, which should include refunds.

    At some point I read Steam stopped giving refunds on it, so perhaps there were a large populous that maybe didn't read the reviews before purchasing it.. or actually enjoyed the limited gameplay.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Indeed. If customers do not punish game-makers for bad quality and broken promises, what do people expect to happen next time?

    • Re:No Man's Sky (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lord Crc ( 151920 ) on Sunday January 01, 2017 @06:48PM (#53589849)

      I find it particularly confusing how a game rated "Mostly Negative" still had the highest sales revenue.

      Almost all of it was pre-launch purchases. Game was hyped into the 8th dimension. it was on the "top sellers" list months before launch.

      However, many players spent more than 2 hours playing the game, waiting to find all those neat things they were promised, before they realized the game was not what they had been told it would be. And after 2 hours of game-time you can't refund the game anymore.

      Others are still clinging on hoping the devs will fix the mess and release the game they showed the world during E3 and whatnot.

      • by LesFerg ( 452838 )

        But its a fantastic study of how long your perseverance can push past your dwindling curiosity.

        I particularly like the non-repetitive realism:
        You are on a very cold planet and will shortly die, unless you get under some overhanging earth and into the shade, where the planet is *less* cold.
        You are on a very radioactive planet and will shortly die, unless you get under ground, where the planet is *less* radioactive.
        I haven't got to my 3rd planet yet, but I expect it will be a very hot planet, where you will s

      • Steam accepted refunds for weeks after purchase for this particular game, simply because the backlash was so huge. The lack of the expected revenue loss was NOT because people couldn't refund it.

        The truth of the matter is, while it didn't deserve the absurd fan generated hype by any means, it wasn't that bad. Not great, not bad, just meh. A small, though larger than normal, portion of the gaming population were extremely upset over this, but for most people it's not that different than any other game, and i

    • Re:No Man's Sky (Score:5, Informative)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday January 01, 2017 @07:37PM (#53590037)

      Pre-orders. The game was waaaaay popular for the first day with huge download and player volumes.

      No Man's Sky is currently hovering between the 1000-2000 active player mark. Before the patch to fix many of the issues it was around 300-500 players. Opening weekend was looking more like 200000. People played it, thought it was shit and then either didn't get a refund or weren't granted a refund.

    • for false advertising in the UK and cleared according to a Forbes article I won't like because even with my extensive ad blocking it was barely legible.

      Here's a /. story about a lot of begrudgingly given refunds []

      I read about it before it was released and it looked like another kickstarter-style scam to me and I knew the tears would be copious especially where they billed it as multiplayer but then said your chances of actually encountering someone else would be astronomically low.

      There is a unfulfilled chang

    • I find it particularly confusing how a game rated "Mostly Negative" still had the highest sales revenue.

      Maybe it is because a significant portion of owners have not played the game yet. There are a lot of gamers who buy more games than they can play (especially indie titles). If you already have a large backlog of games and then you hear reports that the game hasn't delivered on all the features they claimed it would have, then it isn't a problem to put it on your backlog and wait for future patches to improve the gameplay wasting time on a half-finished game.

      Now if you don't mind, I must go and try this Half

    • by kuzb ( 724081 )
      You're looking at the wrong number. You should be looking at the vote totals. Since you have to pay in order to leave a rating this makes perfect sense.
  • And rather handsomely as No Man's Sky shows. Apparently, the only thing they needed to do is make the first 3-4 hours interesting and give people some false hope. Personally, I canceled my pre-order after reading the early reviews.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Sunday January 01, 2017 @07:49PM (#53590083)
    Of the 12 games in their platinum category, half (CS:GO, DOTA 2, Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V, and Rocket League) came out before 2016 (though Fallout 4 had a Nov 2015 release so kinda falls into both years).

    Same things with the 12 games in the gold category. Only 4 were released in 2016, 2 in late 2015. And only 5 of the 16 games in the silver category were released in 2016 or late 2015.

    Message to game companies: Good older games with long-term playability make as much money as new games with big advertising budgets which are just a flash in the pan. So don't rush it - take the time to playtest it and do it right.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Message to consumer: We know, but there are lots of different variables in play - that model doesn't work for all studios and all markets due to budgets running dry, talent gain/lost, etc... And on different platforms, with their TCRs, TRCs, and lotcheck there is an entirely different set of demands.

      In short: unless you are in a C-level position from a company who makes games in that list, you may want to check your Dunning-Kruger notions before telling us how we should keep the lights on for the hundreds o

    • by icsx ( 1107185 )

      More interesting is the fact that Team Fortress 2 was released 2007.

  • What, is the voice actor for Gordon Freeman busy or something?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Of the games listed, I don't own any of the Platinum, Gold, or Silver. Of the Bronze group, I own very few games.of the games (5 of them, although one is on Origin not Steam).--and I own 1097 games. Most of this is because almost all games I buy I obtain in bundles or through trades. The bigger reason is that very few of the listed games are ones I'm interested in. In honesty, probably three-quarters of those 1097 games are ones I'm not really interested in but before I started trying to gift/trade away

    • Similarly, out of the 367 games that I own, there is one Platinum level game (Rocket League) and four Bronze, plus two Bronze level games on my Wishlist.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis