Steam’s mid-year revenue report shows how strong games as a service really are

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Steam best sellers show how popular games as a service are

We’re just half-way through the year, but what a year for gaming it has been already. Gone is the age-old adage that big releases only happen during the holiday season, with the opening months of the year now playing host to would-be game of the year contenders and cash-grabbing wallet destroyers. We’re living during a high time in video games right now, with it being harder and harder to pick up a game that isn’t worth your time or money. But you wouldn’t say that looking at Steam’s revenue report for the half-year so far, with most games in the top spots having already been out for years now.

Games as a service are clearly the model making the most money, which is why every publisher under the sun is trying to replicate that magic with a product of their own. They’re games that can exist for years, offering DLC or in-game purchases to keep the revenue flowing. Even when the base game isn’t free, it’s clear from Steam alone that services are ruling the roost, and that big budget AAA releases are still immune to lukewarm receptions critically.

Just check out the top ten best sellers of the year so far as proof.

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Warframe
  • Far Cry 5
  • Jurassic World Evolution
  • Dota 2
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Rocket League
  • Civilization VI
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Warhammer: Vermintide 2
  • Rainbow Six Siege

Of the top 12 games on that list, only three of them actually launched in 2018. Long-standing service games such as Dota 2, Rainbow Six Siege and Counter-Strike are still up there earning as much as brand new titles, and staving off the heat from phenoms like PUBG. It’s a testament to how powerful service-styled games are now, and how feverishly their fans keep the game supported financially. If players are happy, then I can’t say I disagree with the approach.

Steam VR games have also been making waves over the past few months, and all the usual suspects are on the list. It’s also great to see South African developed GORN so high on the list.

  • Job Simulator
  • Beat Saber
  • Superhot VR
  • Budget Cuts
  • GORN
  • Onward
  • OrbusVR
  • Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenade
  • Arizona Sunshine
  • Pavlov VR
  • Skyrim VR
  • Fallout 4 VR

Steam isn’t the only storefront out there, and it omits massive games like Fortnite by virtue of not having it for sale. But it’s still the largest pool of PC distribution and sales for now, which makes these statistics valuable to learn from. Games as a service are clearly working, and you can bet they’ll be pursued for some time still.

Last Updated: July 5, 2018

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff's a bastard.

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