Steam Charts: Clancy, Cavemen, Construction & Cullings

A run-down of the previous week’s top-selling Steam titles is something I used to do regularly, but a combination of it tending to be fairly unchanging week-to-week and being a feckless human being who can’t stand to do the same thing for long meant I fell out the habit. These are changed times, though: with indiepocalypses here and flash sales there, the Steam charts are now wildly changeable, so I like to look in from time to time, like an old aunt raising a withered eyebrow at reports of what her nephews are up to at university. This week: a whole lot of Ubisoft, not a lot of XCOM and an unofficial Hunger Games (or an unofficial Running Man, if you prefer the awful classics).

1. The Division [official site]

Ubisoft’s MMOish open world shooter isn’t even out until tomorrow, but has snagged the top spot on pre-orders (off the back of a widely-available and well-received beta) alone. You can learn when The Division comes out in your timezone by clicking that link.

2. Stardew Valley [official site]

We liked this ‘honkey-tonk love letter to the Harvest Moon’ quite a bit, and it turns out that a huge slice of the Steam userbase is really into cutsey, pressure-free farming too.

3. Far Cry Primal [official site]

Cementing Far Cry’s place as the new Assassin’s Creed, Primal isn’t quite attracting the delirious reviews of the previous 2.5 games, but is selling a blinder because a whole lotta folk simply want more of that stuff and added sabertooth tigers sounds pretty good on paper. Let’s hope it isn’t a fixed sign-post to what ongoing annual Far Cries mean for what’s historically been a fascinatingly changeable series.

4. Fallout 4 [official site] Season Pass

I.e. purely unreleased DLC for Bethesda’s RPG, which is an oddity in the charts. Recent official reveals as to what said DLC would contain – including a completely overhauled survival mode – have gotten folk who have now overdosed on the main game excited again, it seems.

5. Far Cry Primal [official site]

I believe this is the £5 more expensive ‘Apex Edition’, which includes assorted DLC bits’n’bobs.

6. Rise of the Tomb Raider [official site]

Lara’s latest – a fantastic and fantastically beautiful action game only slightly undermined by its story being an oppressively dour rip-off of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – continues to do well on PC now it’s been liberated from its Xbone-exclusive gaol.

7. Factorio [official site]

I’m writing a feature about this today, as it happens, but in short: I completely understand why it’s doing so well, and any other management game released in the next decade has my pity. I’m not sure how anything could push it much further than this absurdly, gloriously complicated construction game could.

8. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site]

Pretty much the only going-concern Valve game that isn’t free to play, and as such a mainstay of the charts. Counter-Strike will never die.

9. Superhot [official site]

SUPERHOT. The shooter which earns and owns its high concept. Justified.

10. The Culling [official site]

The only name here I didn’t already know. Basically, it’s online, open-world survival in the DayZ mould but with a Hunger Games/Battle Royale/Running Man theme thrown around it. 16 players scavenge, craft and kill until only one remains. I suspect we’ll have more on this very soon.

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  1. Jambe says:

    Are the charts region-based? Here’s the US charts (top 25) screengrabbed at 6 AM EST (perhaps the charts are yet further regionalized, e.g. East/Central/West; I dunno):

    link to

  2. Unsheep says:

    Primal is the first Far Cry game I’ve been interested in since the very first Far Cry game from 2004, so I’m glad other consumers have gone against the advice of mainstream media as well. This is encouraging, because the FPS genre needs more unique titles like this.

    If gaming media does not want to support re-invention its up to consumers to encourage it.

    Stardew Valley is a wonderful game, and its always fun to see a smallish indie game among big triple-A titles.

    The Division was somewhat surprising considering most media folk considered it too boring, once again the consumers have wisely gone against the advice of the media. This is largely due to the game’s open beta, which allowed people to try the game for themselves instead of relying on bored media folks.

    Factorio looks fun, can’t wait to try it.

    I’m not surprised to find XCom 2 absent from the list, after all its still a niche game at the core, so its unlikely to have mass appeal. Especially after all the reported bugs. The notorious difficulty level would also have scared people away for sure.

    • thedosbox says:

      The Division was somewhat surprising considering most media folk considered it too boring, once again the consumers have wisely gone against the advice of the media.

      McDonald’s sell a lot of burgers. That doesn’t mean they’re good burgers, but it does suggest that many people want what’s familiar/comforting.

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      phuzz says:

      I picked up XCOM2 over the weekend, and I’ve found the difficulty about right so far (ie I needed a bit of loading old saves to get through without losing too many troops).
      Mind you, I went straight for ‘Novice’ difficulty off the bat.

      I’ve not played the new Far Cry yet, but from everything I’ve seen, it’s basically FC3/4 but with cavemen. Now there’s not many cavemen games out there, but if every other part of the game is basically the same as it’s predecessors, I don’t think I’d call it that unique.

      • try2bcool69 says:

        I get so tired of hearing someone say, “well it’s just like the last one”. Stop expecting games to reinvent the wheel every time they come out when there is no reason to. You know, I feel like I need at least a few game series that I enjoy to remain consistent, to offset the wildly swinging quality of everything else out there. Besides that, the caveman setting IS unique…go on, name another FPS caveman game, I’ll wait…

        • Kamestos says:

          I find strange that Ubi games are criticized for releasing the same kind of games every year (Far Cry, AssCreed), and at the same time we have yearly FIFAs, NBAs and CoDs and nobody seems to mind.

          Why do they get a pass while Ubisoft gets flamed ?

          • Akula says:

            Tell than to Uplay and other Ubisoft craps that never works (DRM, never working on AMD, constantly awfull on PC, …)

          • Aldehyde says:

            Which world do you inhabit where CoD, FIFA and NBA don’t get called out for being the same bullshit every year?

  3. smeghamr says:

    Did you actually just suggest that the Hunger Games is a better film than Running Man? I mean, that’s what it sounded like..

    I’m actually on the verge of being done here.

  4. JonWood says:

    I’ll grant the first of the Hunger Games films is pretty forgettable, but as a series its pretty damn good, even if it doesn’t quite live up to the potential of the books.

  5. hollowroom says:

    That’s it. I’ve cracked. Factorio is getting purchased.

  6. FreeTom says:

    I learned stuff there. Hope the chart posts make a full return.

    Down Up with this sort of thing.

    • tigerfort says:


      But yes, if Alec (or some other part of the hivemind) can stomach it, I’d be interested in a return of this sort of thing.

  7. Caroot says:

    I like Farcry Primal a lot more than the previous two titles, although i havent played Farcry 4 but I really dislike its setting/villain.

  8. VeritableHero says:

    I have never heard of Factorio but that looks extremely interesting. Thanks for this write up!

  9. Pogs says:

    CSGO is always on the first page, every week without fail. I find this very odd and somewhat suspect.

    • BenMS says:

      Could it be to do with people being banned and re-buying to get around that ban? CS:GO is really only fun to me when it’s an arranged playtime with friends, otherwise hackers generally ruin it for everyone else.

  10. Frank V. says:

    Just stopping by to say I love this ‘Steam Charts’ series. I hope you find it interesting & engaging enough to continue.

  11. Zankman says:

    I’m just so disappointed in, well, people, when I see The Division topping charts… Before it is even released, due to Preorders, nonetheless!


    • UncleLou says:

      Not that I have pre-ordered it, but with a fairly extensive open beta, I don’t really find that so terribly problematic. Likely that people know what they’re getting, and there’s always the refund option.

      Unless you mean that they buy The Division at all. I thought it was one of the better AAA games I’ve recently played, ymmv.

  12. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    The reason for the Fallout 4 season pass being so high on the charts is that they announced mid-February that the price would jump up $20 on March 1st. Since the first story DLC is going to be $25 on its own, and the old price for the season pass was only $30, it was a good incentive for anyone on the fence to jump on the season pass sooner rather than later. Wouldn’t be surprised if that kind of pricing strategy becomes a lot more common from now on, to be honest.

  13. sadwatertunnell says:

    Note that steams “top sellers” display algorithm is {Units Sold} x {Price Per Unit}, not just straight units sold, so a game that’s $15 could sell three times as many copies as a game that’s $60 and still be lower on the top sellers chart.

    Thats why you see so many full-price preorders up there, they don’t need as many copies sold as the latest $15 indie hit to reach the top.

  14. Akula says:

    How can CS:GO still be sold if everyone have it

    • sadwatertunnell says:

      lots of people registering new steam accounts to play it, either as their first game or having been banned from cs: go on their other account. valve recently stopped putting it on 75%+ sales to combat this

      • welverin says:

        Wait, that’s the reason? I thought it was more nefarious. It only seemed to happen after it became the One True Counter-Strike and they didn’t need to bother because people would buy it regardless.

        p.s. I don’t own, and I have no intention of doing so.

  15. Kitsunin says:

    The Culling looks very cool. I’ve always thought these survival games seemed interesting, but they’re just a case of running around for hours waiting for the moment when shit goes down (and you probably lose all your stuff which took hours to get). In this case you’ve got around 20 minute matches of that experienced distilled into its most fun parts.

    Or at least, that’s what it looks like, I’m gonna see if it’s as fun as it looks now, hooray for refunds!

    • Kitsunin says:

      Having now played for a couple hours I can say that it is very cool. A nicely compressed PVP survival experience.

      But the melee combat is so janky. I hate it. I hate it because I want to enjoy the game so much. But when I ambush a guy with a crafted tomahawk while I have a tier 3 spear and am fully juiced, and proceed to die because of how horribly the attack/block/shove system works, it makes all of the survival bits feel pointless.