36% of all games bought on Steam are never played

2 min read


The gaming backlog. We all have it, that pile of shame and neglect. Hell, I’ve got one that I’ve barely made a dent in since I started using Steam heavily a few years ago. In fact, I’ve only just started playing Company of Heroes, and I’ve had that game since THQ was alive. And it looks like I’m not the only person with some catching up to do.

According to a report on Ars Technica , using a random sample of around 172 million publicly accessible Steam profile pages, with data from 90 000 profiles per day over a two month period, 36% of registered games remain in an un-played state.

Charts (2)

Games such as Half-Life 2: lost Coast have a sales figure of 12.77 million, but 10.7 million of those buyers have yet to play the game. Throw in Half-life 2: Death match, and you’d get a homeopathic result of 2.8 million actual players to 11.02 million owners.

There’s plenty more info though, according to that research. The biggest game on Steam is the free to play DOTA 2, clocking in at 25 million owners. Team Fortress 2 isn’t far behind, as that F2P title has 20 million players. In terms of actual hours played, Counter-Strike: Source and the original Counter-Strike reign supreme, while DOTA 2 has too many hours invested in it for any one chart to handle.

Charts (1)

On an average though, Football Manager 2014 is number one in the league with at least 100 hours invested per player, with Skyrim and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 hot on its trail. Ars Technica has plenty more charts, so hit the link above and check them out. It makes for some interesting numbers.

Last Updated: April 16, 2014

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