The Latest Steam Game Charts: Wait What

Phew, finally we get some new names in the Steam top 10 (previous weeks here’n’that), after the chokehold of the Steam Summer Sale is loosened. I did not expect that number 1, but I really did not expect that number 10.

To do the maths, we have five old hands and five new entries there, although even that’s not cut and dried. Arma 3 Apex has been in the charts before on pre-orders, Rimworld is new to Steam but has been available in alpha form for a couple of years previously, Call of the Beastmen is DLC for the existent Total Warhammer and No Man’s Sky is not new to the pre-order circuit. Which means only Raw Data is a truly ‘new’ game. I’m bewildered by its inclusion here, which I’ll get to shortly, but first here’s how the numbers look:

1. Arma 3 Apex

I just spent half an hour trying to locate a specific cause for the new Arma expansion commando-crawling its way straight to the top spot. A sale? A free copy to every disgruntled DayZ owner? ALIENS????!!!??? Nope, so far as I can tell it’s just sheer weight of interest from the e’er-passionated Arma 3 community. Apex is a big ol’expansion, bringing new prettiness, extra landmass and, purportedly, a ton of new features and polish, and people seem to be lapping that up. No doubt we’ll have more coverage here soon.

2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

3. Dead by Daylight

I’d like to say that this asymmetrical multiplayer horror game is the 2016 hit I feel most guilty about not having played yet, but I still haven’t given Overwatch a go either. WHOOPS.

4. RimWorld

Good to see this here. We’ve been enthusiastic about ‘Dwarf Fortress does the The Martian’ (n.b. that description I totally just made up is catchy but not all that accurate) for three long years, and have popped in to watch colonists die in interesting and unexpected ways a few times during its hike through alpha. The Steam release remains early access, and together with our number ten placement this week, very much puts the lie to any sense that people are steering clear of unfinished games.

5. Grand Theft Auto V

6. Inside

I never got on with predecessor Limbo – bounced off it after about an hour, I’m afraid, finding it too mechanical by far – but I entirely dig Inside. There’s an immaculate sense of flow to it, how it blends puzzles with low-key action and constant propulsion – all the while with that semi-ambient, environmental storytelling rolling away beautifully, bleakly in the background. It’s damned funny too, if one approaches it in that spirit.

7. No Man’s Sky

Unreleased as yet, so here on speculative pre-orders only.

8. Total War: WARHAMMER Call of the Beastmen

Total Warhammer’s been a mainstay of these charts for quite some time now, and the fact that its first major post-release DLC (there have been smaller bits and bobs too, mind) can bag itself a chart entry on pre-orders alone rather suggests that much of TWW’s audience is pretty happy with what they got. The Beastmen DLC drops on July 28th, FYI.

9. Total War: WARHAMMER

And here’s daddy. It looked from afar as though TWW dropped out the charts for a while, but I suspect the reality is that it never stopped selling – it just got leapfrogged by the unchecked consumerism of the Steam sale that lasted most of the last month. Steam Spy’s guesstimate is 800,000 sales, but I’d bet 80p it’s a fair bit higher than that. Will doubtless keep on selling for quite some time, too.

10. Raw Data

Okay. Here’s where I furrow my brow, look a bit bug-eyed and start muttering something about ‘funny business.’ Raw Data is a sci-fi shooter, so certainly fits base criteria for a Steam chart entry, but more to the point it’s a VR-only sci-fi shooter. A Vive-exclusive one at that. At £24 it’s pretty close to full-price too. I am all Maculey Culkin cheek-slap-face about its appearance here, because I was not under the impression that there were a huge number of Vive owners out there. So, my guess is that one of two things is going on.

One, actually there are a shitload of Vives in the world, far more than we suspected, and they’re all so excited about a full-fat shooter (or somewhere close to it) on their facebox that they’ve all gone and bought it in droves. Not impossible: many of the best Vive titles either came with the kit or were a free download, and much of what was released subsequently was short, gimmicky and not hugely inspiring. There genuinely would be some pent-up demand for something meatier. I’m still surprised.

Two, it doesn’t currently require all that many sales to make the Steam top ten, in a “you only need to sell 10,000 singles to get a UK number one these days” sort of way. I don’t believe that’s generally the case on Steam – we’ve seen chart-topping games rapidly declare million+ sales after all – but perhaps the climate’s significantly different in the week right after the Steam Summer sale. Everyone’s spent their spare cash, everyone’s busy playing all the stuff they picked up, and indeed people are on holiday or simply outdoors now that the weather’s picked up and schools have broken up.

Indeed, Steam Spy – which can never be truly relied upon despite its sterling efforts at data-led best guesses about how things are selling – speculates that Raw Data has flogged only 15,000 copies. Not at all bad for first-week sales by general 2016 indie (and new studio indie, at that) standards, but it doesn’t seem like enough to reach these vaunted echelons. Still, if that figure’s right, at £24 quid a pop, it won’t have brought in bad money.

I’ll be surprised if Raw Data’s still here next week, but then I was surprised that it was here this week, so what do I know? I’m going to take a look at it shortly to work out what all the fuss is about, anyway.

Note – the charts don’t include free games, hence no Dota 2 or TF2 and, importantly, not the recently F2Pised Evolve. I rather suspect we’d have seen Turtle Rock’s online shooter have itself a Phoenix moment in these charts were free to be included.


  1. tannerd says:

    Raw Data has been shown and streamed since January, and has built up some anticipation.

    I wonder if the Star Wars vive game will make it in next week. Possibly not as it’s free – I suppose it doesn’t count.

    • FieldyGB says:

      and its pants.

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        What, are the pants paid for dlc or something? They could chart in that case, I guess, you’re right.

    • Cinek says:

      By now almost everyone who bought Vive also owns Raw Data. It’s easy to underestimate just how huge this title is for Vive.

      On the other hand though – a huge gap between 1st and 10th position of the best-sellers list doesn’t really surprise me much.

      • Chaz says:

        It’s all based as usual on the anticipation of what it could end up being, because right now it is certainly not £24’s worth of gaming experience. Right now it is just another wave based shooter and not even the best one as Space Pirate Trainer still does that better.

        I tried it round a friends house the other day and was not particularly impressed by it. Solid enough and OK for a 15 minute blast but that’s about it right now. Another over hyped EA title, I’d wait another 8 months before looking at this again.

    • Fnord73 says:

      My first thought re: Raw Data is wether some huge electronics-chain has done a bulk purchase to use as promo.

  2. Alfius says:

    It makes me unfathomably happy that the Arma series is receiving the attention it deserves. It takes something really special to tear me away from Eve these days and Arma 3 is top of a very short list of games which manage it.

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      Armani’s great and everything, but I’m hugely put off by how terribly optimised it is. For a game that’s been out (and still selling at full price) I don’t really find that forgivable.

      • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

        Wow, thanks autocorrect. Arma, not frickin Armani.

      • grundus says:

        If you’d been talking about Arma 2 I’d be all like yeah, definitely, but Arma 3 isn’t that bad. I think it’d be very difficult to do what Arma 3 does much better than Arma 3 does it, but then again I haven’t played Tanoa yet and I do recall thinking they were fucking mad for building a jungle in the Arma engine as it’s surely not designed for that much foliage and the AI can barely navigate a small town, let alone… Yeah.

        • fish99 says:

          Yeah I think people are underestimating the sheer scale of the environments and the view distance in Arma 3. Plus there’s a complex military sim running under the hood.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          As someone who was dragged into Arma 3 by friends, my first reaction was that I can barely get 40 fps with many options turned down and the game looks really quite ugly. All that military simulation bullshit doesn’t make sense when there’s nothing going on, the AI haven’t loaded in, and we’re just two dudes standing still.

          The Witcher 3 or Battlefront this is not.

          • Grizzly says:

            Well, no. But…

            I geuss I am somewhat of an outlier as I get good frames on Altis with the graphics preset firmly at standard on a 6870, whilst battlefront simply won’t run at all on my rig. But Arma really is not battlefront or the Witcher. Battlefronts maps are really small compared to Altis and the Witcher can do trickery Arma can’t do as Arma is also a flight simulator.

            It’s really good at what it does, which is giving a player one (now two) big map(s) of 225 square kilometres to play in. None of the battlefield games even come close. Not that they are trying or should, but it does make for an unfair comparison.

          • potatowarrior13 says:

            If you like big maps, try Planetside 2

      • Legion1183 says:

        I really enjoy Arma(ni) – see what I did there…? – but have to agree its really poorly optimised. I may be misinformed but I notice that the fans on my GTX 680 hardly ramp up when playing Arma 3 yet I can’t push the graphics to their fullest because the framerate starts to drop drastically. Whereas with something like The Witcher 3 for example I can really push that game’s graphics high and my graphics card lets me know it, with the fans whirring at 100%.

        The AI also sucks… it takes my squad so long to decide on their next command I’ve given them, or they take really odd routes to get to where I told them to go that really leaves me scratching my head. I can’t imagine how they will navigate such thick jungles in Apex.

        • Phinor says:

          If the fps drops and your GPU isn’t being utilized, take a look at your CPU usage. Either if all cores are approaching 100% or if one core is constantly at 100%. In either case it’s your CPU slowing you down.

          However if neither your CPU nor GPU is being properly utilized, then we can talk about really bad performance and lack of optimizations.

          • Alfius says:

            Arma has always been pretty demanding on the CPU and memory. Arma 3 has made it fairly GPU intensive as well. It’s definitely not fair to put it up next to Battlefield of The Witcher and complain that Arma runs poorer for less visual fidelity, there’s so much more going on under the hood in Arma than in either of those games.

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        phuzz says:

        I’m only going to call it Armani now. Or perhaps ArmanIII.

      • Unclepauly says:

        ARMA 3. One of a handful of games in the world where overclocking your memory can net you a large increase in fps. I suggest pushing your CPU, GPU, and memory to the limits. OC’ing all 3 can net you a 100% increase in minimum framerates. I’m not sure there’s a game out there that gets such a large boost from OC’ing as ARMA 3. Going from 22 min fps to 44 min fps improves the gameplay drastically.

  3. Ethaor says:

    Sounds weird indeed. Maybe it comes down to the criteria that Steam uses to define its “Top selling games” which might not only come down to how many copies are sold in a given period.

    Maybe it takes in consideration the market size of the targeted crowd as to give a chance for indies to appear in it.

    Maybe it look at the trends too and highlights the biggest changes in sales for any given title

    Maybe they just wanted a VR title in their top ten to remind everyone VR works and decided to put it there just because they can do pretty much whatever they want.

    • gou says:

      I seem to recall valve (or some developer leak) stating that chart position was dependent on profit made, not units sold. Which is why a surge from -99% sale isn’t enough alone to chart.

  4. Pogs says:

    The Steam charts is nothing but a marketing exercise. I don’t know why you pay heed to it at all.

  5. Lars Westergren says:

    Is that Marlon Brando? Wow… how he changed over the years.

    • Asurmen says:

      I’m not gay, but he was absolutely divine in his younger days. A far superior male specimen.

      • pepperfez says:

        I can’t think of another famous person who became so much less attractive as they aged. It’s quite remarkable and sad.

        • Unclepauly says:

          It’s a result of living high on the fat horse for decades.

      • Jediben says:

        I was just about to post the same thing. That guy was outrageously handsome back then. Apocalypse Now, not so much!

    • X_kot says:

      And he still got great roles in movies. Speaks to how skilled an actor he was, cause otherwise he would have been tossed out for the next pretty face.

  6. GWOP says:

    2. Counter Strike: Global Offensive

  7. Unsheep says:

    If that many people owned a Vive we would be seeing many more VR games around, especially Big Budget ones, but we don’t. So the second explanation seems more accurate.

    Happy to see Rimworld do well. I bought it a long time ago DRM-free from the developers. If you like strategy and building stuff it’s definitely worth a look.

    I don’t get the popularity of Dead by Daylight, granted it has a very cool concept and some of the gameplay elements are very unique, however it still has very little content and is very repetitive.

    Inside, a clever piece of art, but I have great difficulty actually seeing it as a ‘game’. Limbo felt like a game, this one does not. Inside is more like an interactive art exhibition, which I don’t mean in a negative way.

    • Cinek says:

      Vive started shipping in April. Building big budget game takes at least a year. Of course we won’t see any AAAs this summer, or for a matter a fact – even in this year. I fully understand scepticism, and I also agree that the gap between 1st and 10th game from the list must be enormous, but let’s not have some ridiculous expectations for something that’s a brand new technology.

  8. fish99 says:

    As Alec speculated, it probably doesn’t take an awful lot of units sold to get into the steam top 10, especially during a lull in big releases like we’re having recently, and especially if we’re talking about position #10.

    As for Arma, it has a huge modding scene, and Lirik gets 30K viewers streaming the BR mod every day. Same with Dead by Daylight, sales driven by twitch/youtube.

    • Cinek says:

      Apex was very lucky – they got release in pretty much a dead period. Even I started considering getting it despite the fact that in last Arma I haven’t clocked even 6 hours…

    • frightlever says:

      Arma 3 has 2.5 million sales, which makes it one of the best-selling PC games of the last half decade or so.

      I enjoy Sada and Frankie’s Arma/Epoch/Dayz videos more than most scripted television.

  9. FieldyGB says:

    don’t get me wrong I love pants (I wear them almost every day!) but I had a good go at this game last night and frankly I’m a bit underwhelmed.. yeah you can wield a lightsabre but the gfx are really poor.. yes its free, which is nice.

  10. ScubaMonster says:

    Shameless manipulation to market a Vive game? Who knows.

  11. theirongiant says:

    One of the biggest problems with Arma has been that, due to the peculiarities of it’s engine, it is far easier to spot enemies who are 500m away than ones who are 10m away. The new map has incredibly dense foliage and that has a real effect on game mechanics, doubly so for any mod that includes looting. Anyone how has tried to hide a vehicle or tent on Chernarus knows how few actually decent spots there are on the map, on Tanoa you could dump a car in the jungle and it’s quite possible that no-one would ever see it again. It might be a similar size to Chernarus but the thick jungle really is something of a game changer.

    • Elementual says:

      I get what you’re saying. That’s why I hated Chernarus. But trying to spot enemies is part of the whole simulation aspect. Doesn’t matter so much anymore, though, because you know what else is a game changer? Head mounted IR goggles. Worry no more about spotting enemies, because you can just slap one of those on. They’re the real game changers.