Accurate Steam game player count

Discussion in 'PC Gaming' started by CSI PC, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. CSI PC

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    844
    Interesting API data leak query meant it was possible to calculate with a high fidelity of accuracy the player base per game, before this was patched someone managed to pull the data to calculate top games.
    Nice reference that is also the most accurate to date, and relies upon active player achievement rather than just buying or in one's game library, meaning some games will be omitted but the principle ones should be there.
    Full articles here: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018...-precise-player-count-for-thousands-of-games/
    https://www.dsogaming.com/news/here...highest-amount-of-players-on-steam-right-now/
    Articles show many more games after Killing Floor.

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 CSI PC, Jul 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
    Lightman, Kyyla, AlBran and 1 other person like this.
  2. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,137
    Likes Received:
    5,074
    That also coincidentally gives us a rough number of how many copies of PUBG sold on XBO. Potentially around 14 million as PUBG a month or so ago posted a 50 million milestone for PC and XBO copies sold. The number for that chart was mined July 1st so a few days worth of Steam's Summer Sale to boost PUBG numbers over and above the 50 million milestone.

    Not bad.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #2 Silent_Buddha, Jul 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  3. CSI PC

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    844
    Yeah the figures are interesting and also a positive point for quite a few developers, nice to some games doing so well.
     
  4. Davros

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    14,889
    Likes Received:
    2,304
    Why are they trying to hide player numbers
     
  5. CSI PC

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    844
    From a Steam perspective it is probably about giving more control to the publishers (especially the large ones) on how they manage their marketing/PR/narrative; having complete transparency is not necessarily what a CEO from AAA publishers really want when they go on about gaming segments/piracy-DRM/etc or just how well or bad a game is doing on PC platform.

    Steam seems to be built more for the publishers and product than consumers these days, probably always was but being 1st to consolidate PC gaming platform really did help consumers early on.
    And against that backdrop is that it is always about revenue for Valve, which is seen by the amount of crap they allow without a cost associated back-end service managing-controlling what is brought on, and full consumer transparency can be a hindrance in both those contexts.
     
    #5 CSI PC, Jul 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    Kyyla and Malo like this.
  6. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,137
    Likes Received:
    5,074
    The other way around. :)

    Steam was first and foremost about the publishers. You couldn't even get your game onto Steam without a publisher in the beginning.

    They've slowly opened things up with more user requests and putting in things that users want.
    • Steam greenlight was a user requested feature to make it easier for Indie games to get onto Steam.
    • Steam getting rid of greenlight and opening the doors to all Indie developers was a user requested feature.
      • People love to blame Valve for all the crap on Steam nowadays, but people need to remember that Valve only enabled this because of massive and constant requests by users to make it easier for Indies to get their games onto Steam.
    • Steam Big Picture mode was a user requested feature.
    • Etc.
    If publishers had their way, I'd imagine Indie developers would still have a hard time getting their games onto Steam. :p Less competition that way. If you look at the Steam player count chart above, more than half of those aren't AAA published games. :)

    Regards,
    SB
     
  7. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    7,029
    Likes Received:
    3,101
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I'd imagine the only Steam users demanding more indie games on steam without any QA are the hoards of asset flippers and other garbage that gets in there purely to make a quick buck and open up cards.
     
    homerdog and CSI PC like this.
  8. CSI PC

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    844
    Maybe perspective, to me and a few journalists Steam has not really changed for the better, in fact it can be argued it has become worst.
    Greenlight was primarily another way for Steam to generate revenue beyond traditional publishers and could had been a good framework IF implemented correctly but it was not (lack of true funding support for the system for good front and back end service).
    This is seen by the worst case scenario of what replaced Greenlight with even less oversight (which was already quite low) and now it is inundated by very sub standard games; a statistic was done and showed I think around 70% of Steam games were added after 2016 onwards, they were averaging over 200 a day at times (obviously not quality games/software and many not even fully functionable or matching dev description or fraudulent being asset flipper), how is that good for consumers or matches to what core Steam customers wanted?
    They allow this because they charge the developers and focus on making it a mass product market generator, so they continue to generate revenue and comes back to primary focus of Valve is both the product (which they charge indy devs and allow asset flippers as they still earn revenue due to terrible oversight/service management using actual resources) and large publishers while also supporting possibly the closest to AAA indy studios due to their consumer profile.
    In fact good indy devs are happier developing on Nintendo because they do have a better structure/resource commitment and some of the good indy games already ported are seeing better sales on that platform because of the mess Steam is; some articles on this with some indy studios sharing their sales/visibility statistics.

    Steam have ignored plenty of requests that would actually correct many of the issues that would benefit consumers, most of the ones they have implemented are focused on primary publisherw/product revenue and consumers second, purpose of Steam Big Picture was to create the concept of PC 'console' gaming in the home and to strengthen Steam against competitors.
     
    #8 CSI PC, Jul 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    BRiT likes this.
  9. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,137
    Likes Received:
    5,074
    Not really, there were tons of streamers and YouTube personalities also pushing for it. For example, the late TotalBiscuit used to go on and on about how difficult it was for indies to get onto Steam before Greenlight. He called that progress but that it still wasn't enough, pushing for Steam to open things up even more after Steam's Greenlight program.

    His meetings, in person (along with other members of media), with Valve are one of the primary motivators for steam removing the Greenlight program and opening things up for indies.

    Valve didn't want to open things up to all Indies. It took years of users requesting it for them to open it up more than the Greenlight program.

    It's a case of be careful of what you wish for. You either have curated indie games in which case many games that with a niche following complain about their game not getting onto Steam. And sure each game has a small following, but over hundreds of games that adds up to a lot of people asking Steam to ease up on their requirements to get onto the platform.

    And you can't curate everything, as one person's trash is another person's treasure. So unless you hire the entire internet, someone is still going to be pissed that their indie game that they like can't get onto Steam, as was the case during Steam Greenlight.

    And yup, along with that open nature, it means a lot of crap ends up getting onto the platform. But it also means that some gems that might not have made it onto the platform, now make it onto the platform.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  10. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    7,029
    Likes Received:
    3,101
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    AFAIK, those meetings (with Jim Sterling as well) were about more oversight and QA from Valve rather than leaving it up to the hordes with Greenlight. And after all that, they simply dropped Greenlight and now there is basically zero validation. If you have $100, you can put up anything.
     
  11. CSI PC

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    844
    I have followed a lot of Jim Sterling work, and it is fair to say they did not do anything that he critiqued and raised issued regarding Greenlight (he pointed out aspects of it were good but due to implementation it was flawed), in fact they went the other direction and for whatever reason increased the biggest issues such as lack of oversight, quality control what goes on Steam, too many 'games' introduced daily and comes back as well to quality control,dev support low for smaller good Indy's, visibility mechanism works well only for AAA or close to that tier development (time visible is part of the issue), abuse of the card system Valve implemented for the community-consumers, etc.

    If there is one concession to consumers it was the money back with less than 2 hours gameplay and returned within 1st 2 weeks of purchase, but this mechanism was chosen as it again has the least amount of oversight and resource cost to Valve.
    With the amount of crud on Steam this is the least they could do, but this does not resolve the current issue with Steam and why certain good Indy devs are seeing better sales and critically visibility on the Nintendo Switch ecosystem.
     
    #11 CSI PC, Jul 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
    BRiT likes this.
  12. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,137
    Likes Received:
    5,074
    Sure they do better on the Switch because Nintendo only takes successful indie games or indie games from successful indie developers. It doesn't help indie developers that are just starting out at all.

    For those, they have the choice of things like Kongregate (bad exposure, bad sales), itch.io (bad exposure, bad sales), or other similar platforms. Or Steam. And that's it.

    It's interesting reading some indie developer blogs where they were only able to make a living out of gaming after they got their games onto Steam. One of my favorite games of all time, Defender's Quest, has a great blog about why Steam was so vital to indie developers. They started on Kongregate, but couldn't quit their day job to focus on making games until they got onto Steam.

    Hey, I was a huge critic of Steam prior to Steam Greenlight, I only started to vocally support them after they started to embrace indie developers.

    I think it was a bad idea to move away from the Greenlight program, but I constantly saw people criticizing the Greenlight program as not doing enough to get indie developers on Steam. At some point they either continued to live with the bad publicity from that or opened up the doors to indie developers and in turn get bad publicity from that. Other than doing things to potentially bankrupt the company there wasn't anything they were going to be able to do to appease both camps.

    What do you suggest they do? Hire enough people to play through the entire game of every game submitted? And multiple people for each game in order to represent the various niche gaming interests that are out there? Basically hire a few thousand people whose only job is to play through games to determine whether they are good enough to be on Steam? The hourly salaries of those people for the duration of the game playthrough potentially being higher than the revenue generated by many of the indie games they'd be looking at?

    Think it's easy to screen good games? Think again. TotalBiscuit used to devote 15 minutes (at one point it was one hour) to a lot of games to give his first impressions. Sometimes he would call out a good game that was good. Quite often he'd call out a good game as being bad due to limited exposure to the game or the game not being of a genre he likes. So many times I was frustrated that he'd give a game a thumbs down that I had played and knew was either a quality title or at least not a bad title. And even with that limited time he got through less than 1% of the indie game codes that developers sent him to look at.

    Likewise there's plenty of games I thought were bad indie games that friends of mine thought were gems.

    Hell you can go onto Twitch and see some streamers call X game an obvious asset flip, while other streamers praise the game for being a great hidden gem.

    Hell, you can't even rely on past developer projects. For example, The Culling was a fantastic take on a survival style battle royale with a focus on crafting and melee, that came out before PUBG made the genre explode. The Culling 2? Oh my god is that a horrible train wreck.

    But meh, whatever, people will think what they want to think.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #12 Silent_Buddha, Jul 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
    Entropy likes this.
  13. CSI PC

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    844
    And that is what consumers wanted, they wanted true indy developed games to have visibility and with oversight/QA/studio support for the product going forward; which is exactly what those Indy devs with good games are getting with Nintendo and lost with Steam due to the mass product generator Steam has come.
    Lets not forget, Steam generates over $3.5bn revenue from sales going back awhile ago and that is ignoring the additional charges now added, with very little required in actual publisher/studio supported related services and in reality no oversight.
    Against the backdrop of up to 230 "games" peak in one day added, and averaging thousands a year; abused due to the lack of a true framework/system made worst when they decided to remove the little they had with Greenlight.

    But for separate views beyond ours:
    Valve not following even the light rules they created for Greenlight: http://www.thejimquisition.com/greenlight-wont-get-better-when-steam-wont-enforce-its-own-rules/
    Valve hiding their revenue (although it is known now what it was for 2016 at $3.5bn): https://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/11/valve-really-doesnt-want-people-to-know-how-rich-they-are/
    Valve behaviour: https://www.polygon.com/2017/5/16/15622366/valve-gabe-newell-sales-origin-destructive
    Valve only pulling games once the issue had high visibility but only done reluctantly it seems and not persistent oversight: https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/09/valve-pulls-nearly-200-spam-games-from-steam/

    Valve using the narrative causing a problem no consumer wants nor actual decent indy studios: https://www.gamezone.com/news/steam-opens-floodgates-will-allow-almost-every-game-platform/
    The benefit they do not mention is they have next to zero oversight worries, massively reduced overhead costs, washing hands of obligation/responsibility.
    But in 2017 they said: https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/04/v...big-changes-to-steam-to-stomp-out-fake-games/

    To sum it up; Valve is like I mentioned purely about revenue and done by being a mass product generator while supporting only the major publishers or largest Indy studios at the lowest servicable front/back end/oversight cost, to the detriment of their consumers and the good smaller indy developers, made more galling that the $3.5bn sales revenue was from a few years back and so much larger these days.

    Are there any positive journalist articles in the last 12 months regarding Valve and Steam?
    Also being the monster platform publisher they are, I am a bit of a hypocrite as I still need to buy certain games from them as I ponder if it is worst from Valve or the big publishers' platforms such as EA/Ubisoft/etc.
    Thankfully though there is GOG amongst others, but lets see if they also end up the same way.
     
    #13 CSI PC, Jul 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
    Malo and BRiT like this.
  14. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,137
    Likes Received:
    5,074
    No, that isn't what the Nintendo is doing. They are taking already proven indie developers and promoting them. They are doing virtually nothing for new indie developers. NSW helps those developers in absolutely Zero ways compared to Steam.

    Nintendo care more about their image than they do promoting or helping indie developers.

    All digital storefronts are purely about revenue, you're extremely misguided and naïve if you think otherwise. Even GOG whose main schtick is being DRM free and offering up old games for sale is purely about revenue.

    Hence you don't see GOG allowing indie games from new indie developers onto their platform until they've proven themselves. Again this doesn't help new indie developers in the slightest. After all, it isn't profitable allowing small indie developers onto your platform until they've proven themselves...on Steam.

    Where can they prove themselves? Steam. Basically Steam is the driving force behind indie game development right now. If you can gain visibility on Steam, you then have a small chance to make it onto the NSW, GOG, or other non-obscure digital storefronts.

    Kickstarter was supposed to be that jumping off platform for indie developers, but there have been so many failed Kickstarter projects, that it's lost its luster for both consumers and smaller indie developers. Steam remains their primary and often only hope of getting recognized.

    Small Indie dev. and want to use GOG to help get you noticed? Forget about it. Want to use NSW to help get you noticed? Forget about it. They'll only take you once you've gained notoriety.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #14 Silent_Buddha, Jul 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
    BRiT likes this.
  15. CSI PC

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    844
    They push it much further than anyone else (AAA publishers seem more intent on messing with consumers using revenue in game), just look at the articles I linked, it is very fair to say Valve with Steam is not comparable in what they do to the other publisher/digital platforms.
    Steam is the worst one by far, and I buy games unfortunately from them but also the other platforms while nearly every critical article is either on the Steam platform or the closed nature/hook of the AAA studios platforms.
    GoG is far from perfect but they have not created the same extreme framework as Valve who have taken it so far it is inundated with critical articles and impacting good Indys let alone new ones who cannot gain any traction/visibility (find the articles where some of the smaller devs talk about visibility mechanism and how it is flawed on Steam due to everything I have said and linked).
    Very few of the smaller Indy's do well these days on Steam and those that do are unique with their situation, how well do you think new small dev teams are doing on Steam apart from ones such as PUBG?

    Case in point try and explain why actual good small new Indy developers are critical of Steam and like Nintendo when they talk about it from visibility and the framework/service, these are NOT the proven Indy games because some are selling 20x better on Nintendo than they did on Steam; that is an actual real statistic.
    The difference is that these are quality controlled games with aspects that are truly of interest to gamers, if the other digital platforms end up with the same levels of problems as Steam I will agree but for now those articles I linked all come back to Steam and problems made worst since 2016.
    Especially considering their revenue is well over $3.5bn a year now.
    It is a shame because Steam from a system perspective is still probably the best and still the most mature.

    Are there articles by journalists that are as broad and critical of the AAA or independent platforms as we see persistently for Valve and Steam?
    Context beyond the fragmentation and potential hook-in the AAA publisher plaftform causes; I am not a fan of the AAA digital platform approach and avoid it as much as possible but it does not have all the issues we see with Steam, GoG has other baggage such as historical games and the platform not as mature but I find it easier from a visibility context to find the newer indy games that appear on there.

    Edit:
    Quick search another critical article on Steam done June (aligning with my point it is about reducing oversight and resources and importantly costs and being a mass product generator): https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/20...ty-over-steam-is-the-worst-possible-solution/
    Edit2:
    The game that has sold better on Nintendo than Steam is this :
    Point is this is not a strong well known Indy dev.
    While other more known indy devs have made comments about the visibility mechanism and its importance and flaws these days on Steam and why looking to console digital platform makes sense for them.
     
    #15 CSI PC, Jul 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  16. CSI PC

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    844
    Doing this one separate but comes back to how important visibility mechanism/process is to Indy developers from medium to small size and how Steam is a mess now from May 2018: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-05-11-the-era-of-break-out-indie-success-is-long-dead

    And an article Oct 2017 following up after surveying developers who distribute using Steam: https://www.pcgamer.com/if-valve-wa...an-be-these-issues-are-a-good-place-to-start/
    Both highlight what is killing Steam for many of the medium/small indie developers and why consoles may be a better option for them, and that ties into a conclusion from some developers from the 1st paragraph with linked article.

    And so has a direct effect on consumers, but not necessarily negative for Steam revenue when Valve reduce costs/resources to such a low level while being a mass product sales generator with no oversight and in reality only supporting the AAA publishers and the indy studios close to that size.
     
    #16 CSI PC, Jul 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  17. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    7,029
    Likes Received:
    3,101
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I honestly think that Valve just don't care anymore and are simply riding their dominance into the ground eventually until something else takes over.
     
    CSI PC likes this.
  18. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
    Moderator Legend Alpha Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    12,492
    Likes Received:
    8,695
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Lets hope that happens sooner rather than later.
     
  19. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,137
    Likes Received:
    5,074
    Blossum Tales completely supports what I've been saying. It's been out for a year+ on Steam. Think it would have gotten onto the NSW with Nintendo's approval if it hadn't proved itself on Steam?

    One person gets their information from media. The other one gets their information from indie developers.

    I'm just going to stop here.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  20. CSI PC

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    844
    Steam did nothing for them and did not help their cause to get onto Nintendo approval; the information I am providing IS from indie developers who are covered in journalist articles including Blossom Tales developers so not sure how you feel it contradicts my context, this is not general media sites I am using for my critique on Steam.
    Outside of when they were interviewed this is what that the specific publisher for that game and dev said on Twitter:

    They are also the publisher related to it on Steam.

    As part of articles beyond said tweets they explained visibility mechanism was an issue including crowding from products without any QA/oversight control (links back to some of those articles I previously posted especially the last couple).

    Like I said Steam did not help them nor for getting onto Nintendo approval system, and the last few articles I posted sum up the situation that Castlepixel found themselves in.
     
    #20 CSI PC, Jul 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...