We’ve told you many, many times before that the sales data that comes through (primarily for console games) showing which the best-selling ones were, generally only paint half a picture. Once you factor in digital distribution, everything changes. And it changes considerably.
We all know that Steam is still the de-facto digital distribution platform when it comes to the PC, and its dominance is telling. According to the newest data from the perpetually useful Steam Spy, nearly 60 million copies of games were sold through Valve’s digital storefront.
Here’s a list of the most purchased games on the service during August – or at least the ones that changed ownership status most (excluding games that were free), compiled by neoGAF user Knurek.
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (867,471, LTD: 15,920,443, price $14.99, lowest price $7.49)
- Rocket League (577,677, LTD: 1,157,139, price $19.99, lowest price $17.99)
- Garry’s Mod (325,638, LTD: 9,601,519, price $9.99, lowest price $2.49)
- Left 4 Dead 2 (300,937, LTD: 12,842,893, price $19.99, lowest price $4.99)
- Race The Sun (227,860, LTD: 786,408, price $9.99, lowest price $5.99)
- Sid Meier’s Civilization V (209,231, LTD: 7,839,348, price $29.99, lowest price $7.49)
- H1Z1 (200,028, LTD: 1,652,600, price $19.99, lowest price $13.39)
- Borderlands 2 (163,603, LTD: 5,467,358, price $19.99, lowest price $4.00)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (152,022, LTD: 9,415,888, price $19.99, lowest price $6.00)
- Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead (140,868, LTD: 3,742,419, price $19.99, lowest price $19.18)
- Counter-Strike (140,654, LTD: 11,647,723, price $9.99, lowest price $9.99)
- Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (135,499, LTD: 2,094,606, price $19.99, lowest price $4.99)
- Terraria (128,794, LTD: 6,490,992, price $9.99, lowest price $2.49)
- BioShock Infinite (127,265, LTD: 3,747,472, price $29.99, lowest price $7.49)
- BioShock 2 (124,869, LTD: 2,552,568, price $19.99, lowest price $3.99)
What makes it interesting is that of these top fifteen games, very few of them are what you’d call AAA retail games. Yes, August was a bit of a slow month in that regard – but even looking over the same stats for April, May, June and July, it’s easy to come to the general conclusion that the AAA market isn’t the biggest driver when it comes to game sales. The average sale price for these games was $10.77; far removed from the $60 publishers want you to spend on games. Is it because of Steam sales and cheaper games – or is it because people tired of the big blockbuster?
Either way, it shows that the industry doesn’t entirely run on new games.
Last Updated: September 2, 2015