Steam Charts: Happiness Is Just Around The Corner

Cossacks 3

I’m trying to think who it could be. I don’t really have enemies any more, or not knowingly so. Some forgotten bully from school who never left our hometown and is still obsessed with tormenting me? A fellow journalist whose article I might have drunkenly tweeted something rude about in 2009? Someone I unfollowed or unfriended because they were tiresome or awful? You Know, Those Guys? Or: all of them, working together. Pooling their life savings to buy as many copies of a certain game as they can. Make no mistake: someone’s out to get me. It’s the only possible explanation.

These are the Steam charts, which every week round up the top-ten best-selling games on Steam from the previous week. The regular feature was created with the intention of keeping a finger on the pulse of what was and wasn’t selling in PC games land, though increasingly suggests a market wary of new things.

Regular viewers will have seen my sanity apparently seem to crumble as I include the same games time and again, but I can reveal to you now that has all been a facade. My agonies have been merely for show – for your entertainment.

I can assure you, as I sit here on my throne made from my neighbours’ bones, supping dishwater from a cup carved out of their Labrador’s pelvis, and watching my captured and starving troupe of Vengaboys miserably perform We Like to Party! (The Vengabus) on endless repeat, that I feel 100% tickety-boo. On with the charts!

1. Grand Theft Auto V

2. Battlerite

ACTUALLY NEW ACTUALLY NEW. Battlerite is the spiritual successor to PvP team brawler/shooter Bloodlines Champions, which has raced damn near to the top of the charts based on an Early Access version alone. I believe Brendy is powering up the Brendybrain for some Premature Evaluation thoughts on it quite soon.

3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

4. Divinity: Original Sin 2

Down from 2. Another Early Access sales triumph, which is odd, given that forty million people declare their deep and abiding hatred of Early Access whenever it’s mentioned. For everyone who mistrusts the system, there seem to be at least a couple who still enjoying getting to see a game evolve and potentially improve over time. Me, I prefer to play an RPG, as DOS2 is, with the knowledge that its tale is complete, but others get far more out of revisiting to see what’s new or tinkering with different character builds than I do.

5 – Cossacks 3

Half-sequel, half-remake of the noughties historical real-time strategy game. I quite liked it, in terms of being a comforting throwback to a bygone era, but it’s a little small in scope (though not unit count) and some folk complain that it’s a touch buggy. (I didn’t run into anything particularly problematic myself, for the record.)

6. NBA 2K17

It puts the ball in the net or it gets the hose again.

7. ARK: Scorched Earth – Expansion Pack

8. Cossacks 3

One of these two Cossacks is the standard version, and the other the £8 pricier ‘digital deluxe’ version that will eventually add four chunks of DLC, including new campaigns and factions. I couldn’t tell you which of these entries was which.

9. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

Here’s our first new pre-order entry in a while. It seems appetite for a new Civ is undiminished by the cool reception to sci-fi spin-off Beyond Earth. Is it a matter of Always Bet On Firaxis or just a feeling that Earth is more tried-and-tested than space?

10. NBA 2K17

Two of them? Oh come on, this is just a cruel thing to do to a man who was tragically born without a sports gene. This is probably the £20 pricier Legend edition. Though it could be the £80 Legend Edition Gold, in which case WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU ALL?


  1. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    So is spring, allegedly.

  2. AbyssUK says:

    RPS.. I think you need to get help out to Alec… he is going full John McAfee..

  3. Darth Gangrel says:

    Hahaha… Last week it was eternal nemesis CS:GO at no. 1 and this week it’s Alec’s other eternal nemesis at no. 1. Well, at least there are some changes from last week (which also saw its fair share of changes from the previous week).

  4. shocked says:

    I don’t get it… Why are these titles (GTA V, CS) never leaving the charts? Who is still buying this? Do we have a vague idea how many copies have to be sold to take the top spot in the steam charts?

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      johannsebastianbach says:

      CS most likely because of smurf accounts and new accounts cheaters buy when they get banned.
      As for GTA V, I have absolutely no idea. How? How?

      • stuw23 says:

        I think there was a sale on GTA and other Rockstar titles recently, which may help explain it, but it must have sold a crazy amount by now in order to still be so high in the charts every week. Unless those in-game cash purchases count towards sales, which may help explain it? Or would they show up separately? Genuinely no idea. Unless it has as many people being banned from multiplayer and rebuying it as CS:GO does.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        The same, I assume.

        Both are very popular games with strict banning mechanisms and plenty of opportunity to cheat.

        Why people buy multiple copies of a game to keep cheating is TOTALLY beyond me, but I can’t think of any other reason.

        Sure, they both gets sales occasionally, and they are popular games – but neither should be experiencing the sustained sales required to keep them in the top 10 for this period of time.

        I used to think CSGO was a bit of bad behaviour from Valve (i.e. artificially keeping it there), but unless Rockstar have a sneaky deal with Valve I can’t see that being the cause. I wouldn’t put it past Rockstar, tbh – they’re no villains, but they’re not a company full of squeaky clean church goers :)

    • Mara says:

      I personally don’t see the appeal of either, but the reason they keep selling is because people keep playing.
      CS:GO continues to be the second most played game on Steam (behind the free to play DOTA2), and has a playerbase more than five times larger than the third place (Team Fortress 2, also no small fry).
      People are buying it because it is played A LOT
      GTA5 less so, but still a lot (they’re 4th in the play charts)
      Based on – link to which is fun to check out every now and then.

      • darkath says:

        What happens is probably those are the 2 basic games you get when you get a new computer. Plenty of people that purchased their first “good” computer recently never played GTA5 and so buy it partly to feel good about running it on max, partly because it’s overall a good game.
        As for CS, the fact is it has never been dethroned on PC, even under the numerous attempts of the COD franchise (each title never lasted a long time because they keep making new ones every year or so, plus lack of modding/dedicated servers/community features/loot crates/hats/workshop (select all that applies))

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Seems like it might be time for a little investigative journalism, RPS.

  5. jon_hill987 says:

    Isn’t it the done thing with these lists to start at number 10 and work down (up?) to 1?

    • Mara says:

      With top 10s, traditionally yes.
      But if you assume they’re ordered that way to build up the suspense then 1 down to 10 makes more sense here.
      Since 1 is almost always exactly the same as last week.

  6. Haplo says:

    The first time I read about Battlerite I thought it meant “Battler-ite”, like a mineral made for or of battlers. Then I thought it meant “Batt-le-rite”.

    Only now do I really realise what it says.

    • Harlander says:

      Wait, so you’re telling me it’s not just the guns-and-ammo department of ShopRite?

      • welverin says:

        Even in America grocery stores don’t have gun departments (Texas not withstanding).

    • MiniMatt says:

      Think I read it as “Blairite” – conference season is upon us and a game about bloody internecine warfare seems oddly apt.

    • King in Winter says:

      I thought it was “Battle, rite?”

    • fL0per says:

      You were rite on both occasions. But you should be aware of being legitimately entitled to battle. Your freedom of choice whether you engage battle or not should be and itIS a rite, NOT a privledge.

      À la bataille!

  7. Don Reba says:

    I finally discovered how GTAV stays in the charts. There is a truly marvellous reason for this, which this margin is too narrow to contain.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Sick mathematic reference.

    • Captain Narol says:

      Excellent mathematic reference. I salute you, Sir!

    • Sin Vega says:

      Observe ye now the work of the axis of evil.

      • Captain Narol says:

        The devil is in the numbers ?

        666 shades of the Beast !

        (sorry for people with hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia)

        • fL0per says:

          I feel permanent sorrow for hexakontenneaphobics as well, and needless to say these aren’t good times for tetrakatoeikoisiphobics either.

          Pentaphobics or scelerophobics won’t contribute to the cause, either.

  8. Rizlar says:

    Is the D:OS2 listing definitely steam sales or could it be kickstarter backers claiming their keys? Currently you can only download the pre-release thing on steam.

    • Someoldguy says:

      Kickstarters have certainly been allowed to get the Early Access keys since 14th Sept, so that would likely explain it. I’m holding off on mine because I trust them to develop without my input and would rather experience the completed product, just like Torment Numenara.

      Unlike Early Access, I’m more than happy to give tried and trusted developers my kickstarter cash to develop projects like these. A lot of the problems in the past have been RPGs getting cut to meet publisher deadlines and that sort of pressure melts away, so the end result should be much closer to delivering the sort of game we want to play even if it takes a year longer than projected. Maybe I’ll change my tune if one of them pulls a Star Citizen on us, but it’s far less likely to happen with an RPG.

    • Drakhoran says:

      Probably Steam sales. The RSS feed where Valve publishes this claims it’s based on revenue, not units sold. Since Valve can’t really know how much was paid for a key on sites other than Steam those are probably not counted in the chart.

  9. ButteringSundays says:

    As much as I smirk when I see these posted – isn’t this exactly what your readers have been telling you since you announced this as a feature? Was RPS really so naive to think otherwise (I find that hard to believe). It’s a completely redundant list, made all the more redundant by the fact that all of your readers will see the Steam top 10 on a regular basis anyway – it’s hardly insightful.

    I know I’m just another annoying complaining voice in your ear – but couldn’t you do something similar but with more value to the readership (and surely your advertising overlords?) – like the suggestions to produce an RPS top 10, based on some of the unsung heroes that don’t make it into list, but are just as good if not better than these titles anyway?

    • cpt_freakout says:

      After looking at the various instances of this list and Alec’s perpetual annoyance I think I’d rather read an RPS top ten, or maybe a shift from Steam to since (safe to assume) most of us have Steam and we all pay attention to those big releases, while the ones on itch might be more elusive to a general audience but equally worth the attention?

      • lglethal says:

        Sorry to be different, but I find the current system great!

        Alec’s humour is always funny and I don’t keep an eye on Steam charts (or any other charts for that matter), so getting an update all the time, even if things don’t change too much is something to put a smile on my face.

        I say don’t change a thing! :)

      • Don Reba says:

        I, for one, enjoy watching Alec’s accelerating descent into madness.

        • Jurple says:

          “descent into madness”

          I hope this is rock bottom. Descending even further would be unpleasant.

        • Captain Narol says:

          Madness reigns… in the Hall of the Charts King !

    • klops says:

      I don’t actually understand the idea of this whole concept. It must’ve been discussed before and mentioned in the articles but I haven’t seen it. So:

      Why RPS lists Steam statistics on a weekly basis? Is it sponsored by Steam or how RPS benefits from this? Are readers interested in this? I find Meer breaking down from the repetitiveness fun, but otherwise these Steam charts are of little value.

    • Someoldguy says:

      This is the only place I bother to look for the Steam top 10 because it comes with some helpful commentary and links to articles I may have missed. With RPS alone pumping out a multitude of articles every day, it’s quite easy to miss some.

    • Sin Vega says:

      all of your readers will see the Steam top 10 on a regular basis anyway

      Why? Genuine question here. I seldom visit their site, and it’s not like I’d bother to look up their sales figures when I buy a game.

      Besides, it gets people talking about the few new games that appear on there. Like the Have You Played stuff, that’s sometimes quite interesting.

      • Thurgret says:

        All you have to do is open the Steam client, and the store page is right there to see, with the top sellers just a click away.

        • Sin Vega says:

          When I open Steam it just shows my games. I don’t use it for browsing because it’s crap.

        • welverin says:

          I rarely go to the front page of the store, and when I do I never pay any attention to the top sellers list.

  10. Zankman says:

    There is no such thing as “not having a sports gene”.

    You just haven’t tried to find the sport you like; no one likes all of them, lol.

    • Someoldguy says:

      I haven’t found mine yet, so a working assumption that I don’t have one seems reasonable. Watching the 1 hour highlights of a full day’s cricket comes closest. Computer simulations of a sport you don’t have a passion for are just dull, although sometimes the management and stat crunching side can be mildly interesting for a while. The closest I’ve come to enjoying a computer sport game was Speedball on the Atari ST before I ever bought a PC.

  11. DEspresso says:

    I actually reinstalled CS-Go last Week. Played a bit with bots and joined a game. After reaching a whooping 0-4 I get greeted with a votekick at each new round *sad*

    So I only bought 2 extra copies to keep it in the charts this week instead of the usual 4.

  12. Ryos says:

    And some people like none of them, lol.

  13. Whelp says:

    Actually I was kind of hoping for a second expansion to Beyond Earth. Rising Tide was excellent.

    • stuw23 says:

      Agreed! I tried the base game of Civ:BE a few times on free weekends and the like, but found it quite dull compared to Civ 5. But I recently decided to give it a go with Rising Tide (after watching some let’s plays showing the added features) on a recent sale that reduced the package to around £15, and have found it a lot of fun. I doubt I’ll get 800ish hours out of it like I did Civ 5, but I’ve already clocked up 50 hours in just over two weeks (despite full time jobs etc.) which I think says a lot. It’s a shame the base game was so poor, though.

  14. jgf1123 says:

    The preorder bonus for Civ6 is Montezuma, who is a jerk. That’s enough reason in itself to not preorder.

    Joke aside, I’ve been following the Civ 6 preview / hype train somewhat closely, and I can understand the preorders. First, unlike Civ5 and CivBE, the goal is to launch with a lot of the systems built-in (religion, espionage, trade, etc.) rather than as full-price expansions (I’m looking at you, Rising Tide).

    Second, Civ has always had a problem with diplomacy. With the leader agendas, civs will at least act like their historical counterparts (e.g., Teddy Roosevelt will get annoyed if you start a war on his continent). The new casus belli system should hopefully make going to war more realistic. In Civ 5, if another civ bullied your city state and you declare war, you’re the warmonger. In Civ 6, (I believe) joining your ally in a defensive war should have no warmonger penalty; using the war to take territory still bears a warmonger penalty; joining your ally in an offensive war also gains your warmonger points.

    That said, I remember when CivBE previews showed off all of its neat new features and the game flopped, so I’m still not preordering.

  15. skeletortoise says:

    Holy hell, I didn’t know that terrifying six flags commercial tune came from a real song.

  16. benkc says:

    Dangit, again with the “A new Scorched Earth?! …Oh. Nevermind.”

  17. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    It’s me, I’m that guy. I’m the one who’s killing this feature. I got GTA5 because I finally have a computer that can run it worth a damn.
    It, and the second Tomb Raider, are two titles that actually, really benefit from a strong rig.