Steam Charts: They Said It Could Never Happen

I had all the characteristics of a blogger — frayed jeans, opinions, laptop, tea — but my depersonalisation was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to compile charts had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating top ten articles, a rough resemblance of a best-sellers list, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning.

And yet.

Actual change! Actual change! But not to my existential dread, of course.

1. Battlerite

Increasingly, I work to this rule of thumb: if I feel tired just looking at it, it’s going to be a runaway success. There’s plenty in this list that is very much for me, but Bloodlines Champions spirt-o-sequel Battlerite very much is not. Even so, it’s good to see a break-out hit top these charts – proof positive that Steam’s playerbase is thirsty for new things and not just endless Grand Theft Auto. We’ll have more on Battlerite, from someone who knows what they’re talking about, later today.

2. Grand Theft Auto V

Scratch the above.

3. Osiris: New Dawn

Rather in contrast to our number one, here’s proof positive that sandbox craft-o-survival done with a relative degree of gloss and a reasonably high budget would seem to be a surefire way to entice a playerbase that does want basically the same thing all the time. Brendy felt offworld Robin Crusoer Osiris was far too heavy on the grind, but dug its “sandstorms and otherworldly vistas.” I do feel tempted to play cos it looks quite delectable, but I’ll wait it out in the hope that its trip through early access smooths some of its more tedious edges.

4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

ThEE VeNGaaaaAAAA busssssssssssssssssss isssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss COMING


Bethesda have kept slapping cheeky discounts on this since very early on, which some might argue was fiscally unwise, but what it’s done is to keep booting DOOM back into the limelight, and as such it’s kept on selling throughout the year. Pretty savvy, really. DOOM thus becomes a constant of 2016 rather than there and gone again, as otherwise was perhaps likely given its multiplayer mode was too uninspiring to keep it alive after its bloody good singleplayer campaign was over. It was 50% off, down to $30, until yesterday, FYI. No, you’re too late now. Soz, chummo.

6. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

I can’t quite believe this is only a couple of weeks away. Beyond Earth feels like it came out yesterday. Hell, Civ V feels like it came out a week last Tuesday. God knows I’m excited for a new Civ, but I’m also fucking terrified that it’s somehow been six years since the last one.

7. Quantum Break

I… I want to play this. Even though everything I’ve read about it suggests it’ll drive me up the wall. I think I’m just a sucker for rubbernecking at folly. And Quantum Break really does look/sound like folly: a giant, vibrating pillar of ambition undermined by trying to cram Videogame into the gaps between its TV-troping and time-bending. John thought it a fascinating but flawed experiment, and honestly that intrigues me. I’m curious to see the walls Remedy ran into while trying to create something more than the average bear – and which holes they actually managed to knock into those walls.

8. Mafia III

Joining Civ VI on the 2K Pre-Order Boogaloo. I have absolutely no opinion about Mafia III. No anticipation but no ill will either. I am aware that it is a game that exists, and maybe it will be OK, but there is not an obvious place in my life (i.e. available free time) for it and so I imagine it will just pass me by. Number 8 on pre-orders is good-going though, so clearly I’m not representative of the norm here.

9. H1Z1: King of the Kill

Daybreak’s DayZ riposte spun-off into a Battle Royale standalone project early this year, which hungrily gamed it way out of early access and into a full release a few weeks back. It’s only now that it bags itself a place in the charts, thanks to the double-whammy of a sale and heightened profile from a paid tourney at Twitchcon. The third-off sale (making it £10/£13) has seven hours left on it from the time of writing, if you’re curious.

10. Call of Duty: Black Ops III

I haven’t played a new COD for a few years now, and while I’ve often sneered at their hoo-rah bombast from afar, truth be told I almost miss sinking into 8-10 hours of ludicrous, unreconstructed chest-beating singleplayer action every Autumn. Stockholm Syndrome perhaps. Which would be ironic, given it’s COD’s uber-rival Battlefield that is developed in Stockholm. Anyway, I saw CODBLOPS3 back on the Steam front pages thanks to its half price ($30) sale last week and actually ended up installing it, so that I’ve got some routine man-shooting set aside for a rainy day. I suspect quite a few folk who tired of the annual cycle and high release price felt similarly. Sometimes you just want stupid.

I haven’t done this for a while because the charts have been so static, but just FYI, here are the games that fell out of the charts this week:

Divinity: Original Sin 2
Cossacks 3
NBA 2k17
ARK: Scorched Earth expansion pack
Cossacks 3 some kinda deluxe edition
NBA 2k17 some kinda deluxe edition

So: quite a bloodbath, by usual standards at least. We’re moving into big release silly season now, so can probably expect a few more weeks of shake-up before settling into a new routine through to and beyond Christmas. Dare we dream that even GTA V and CSGO might make a brief departure?


  1. LTK says:

    Battlerite? Is that one of Batman’s Bat-gadgets?

  2. Darth Gangrel says:

    I wouldn’t get my hopes up, Alec. You see, they’re only lifting your spirits up, so that the drop into the infernal pits of despair becomes greater.

  3. RaveTurned says:


    I want you in my room.

  4. iainl says:

    How do you pronounce that? Is it Bat-tle-rite, which probably makes more sense, or how it looks, which is the previously-unknown mineral Batt-ler-ite?

    Not that “team-based multiplayer arena clicky thing with umpty-thrumpty complex characters to learn” is a genre I would touch with a bargepole – I have neither time, ability nor willingness to receive a stream of disgusting bigotry whenever it’s obvious I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.

    • acheron says:

      Ohh. I was definitely saying “batt ler ite” in my head, and thought it was kind of an odd name. “battle rite” does make more sense.

    • Bremze says:

      Battle-rite as in a combat-ritual.

      Battlerite is actually the perfect game if you feel like dipping your feet into the genre because the matches are <10 minutes, the chat is opt-in and disabled by default, and the abilities are intuitive and feel good to use.

    • Haplo says:

      I posted on RPS this very same observation a week or two ago. I am so happy to learn that I’m not alone.

    • fish99 says:

      It’s a game about a battle, in a genre containing the word battle, so it’s got to be battle-rite. They could have called it BattleRite to avoid confusion though.

    • RanDomino says:

      Battler-ite is the unrefined form of Battle and is commonly mined from igneous formations.

    • PseudoKnight says:

      Game length seems to be one of the biggest factors in how much people are vile at teammates. Battlerite has short rounds. There’s no grinding/leveling/structures, so it’s more like traditional deathmatch games in that sense. But it seems it would be fairly easy for other MOBAs to add such a mode, so they’ll need to grab an audience quick. So far so good.

      I have no plans to play it, though. I’ve been burned one too many times by games changing, adding too many micro-transactions and undermining design. I have trust issues now. lol

  5. acheron says:

    Know what you mean about Civ 6. There were only 5 years between Civ 1 and 2, and that seems like it was way longer than the now 6 years since Civ 5.

    If I’ve learned anything from Star Trek: TNG, it’s that a space-time continuum anomaly is obviously causing time to speed up. If I remember correctly, it probably started around the time I turned 18 and has been getting faster ever since.

  6. Aitrus says:

    The last 3 weeks you’ve killed me with really hopeful article titles, making me think either GTA5 or CSGO was going to be absent… And every time it’s been a LIE. :(

  7. Ferno says:

    Finally picked up DOOM for 20 quid in that 50% off sale. I do not regret it!

    • dystome says:

      Yep, same here. The frantic demon splatting really is a joy.

  8. SuicideKing says:

    Looking at the concurrent and peak player numbers, I thought COD wasn’t really popular anymore, it was quite far down in the top 100 list – more people were playing HoI IV.

    …it’s actually still quite far down. Multiplayer is absent. Granted it’s quite an old game, but I’m starting to feel CoD is losing its staying power on PC.

    (inb4 proven wrong by Infinite COD)

    • welverin says:

      Didn’t they stop having SP and MP as separate clients? If I remember right on that, it would explain why you only saw one listing.

      Also, the sales for the serious started slowing down years ago and have actually started going down, so there’s that as well.

      • SuicideKing says:

        I’m not sure – I did see some CoD MP thing reported separately, but not sure whether that was BLOPSx or MWx.

        (where x = 1,2,3…)

  9. ButteringSundays says:

    “It was 50% off, down to $30”

    Are those Liberian dollars? We have our own currency, you know – helps with context n that.

  10. Iainn says:

    The way the images are presented in the charts articles regularly make it look as though they belong to the previous game. I was looking at GTA5 and wondering what the image had to do with it, thinking I was missing some epic joke. Alas, no, the image is for the next game. The number and game name should be above the image, IMO.

  11. lglethal says:

    Alec, what big games are still due to come out this year? I thought we had had all of the planned big releases already? DX:MD, Doom, Stellaris, etc. have already come out and OK, Civ VI and D:OS2 are still to emerge (is D:OS2 due this year or next?) but I cant think of any other big names. But then maybe I haven’t been keeping up with the Joneses…?

    • welverin says:

      Dishonored 2
      Mafia 3 is popping up a lot in ads, even if we don’t much care about it.
      Call of Duty Infinite Warfare
      Battlefield 1 and Gears of War 4, though they won’t show up in this series of articles
      Shadow Warrior 2
      Titanfall 2
      The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, which is a free upgrade to people who own it and it’s dlc on PC, but could still cause a rise in the sales charts.
      Watch Dogs 2
      Dead Rising 4
      Gravity Rush 2, yes it’s PS4, but people should care about it.

      I was actually talking about upcoming games with someone at work a few weeks ago and we had trouble thinking of major releases, upon looking things up we realized there were a number of things on the way that you would think would be significant but just aren’t getting the kind of push we would expect and were flying under the radar. Now it could be because we just didn’t care that much about them and it could be because they haven’t been getting the same amount of coverage they would have in the past.

      • lglethal says:

        I thought Dishonoured 2, Titanfall 2, and Watch Dogs 2 were all due for release next year! Damn it, I still have so many games on my back catalogue from LAST Year (or earlier!) still to play!

        Anyone want to give me say €100k, so I can take a couple of years off work and finally get my steam back catalogue up to date? Anyone? Please!!!

  12. JFS says:

    Hypnospace Hypnospace Hypno Hypno spaaace!

  13. C0llic says:

    Has RPS considered a feature on thee highest concurrent players on steam as well? (via steamstats probably)This may change even less than the charts, but it could be interesting to look at semi-regularly.

  14. Scandalon says:

    so that I’ve got some routine man-shooting set aside for a rainy day. I suspect quite a few folk who tired of the annual cycle and high release price felt similarly. Sometimes you just want stupid.

    Agreed. If they’d just split out the single-player for like $10, I expect they’d pick up a fair bit of sales.

  15. T-Minus says:

    Hi dude. You may not realise it, but what you are calling “Existential Dread” is simply Anxiety. There are professional services out there to help you with this, there is no need to feel ashamed. Best of luck!

  16. Sle3epy says:

    Stop whining about the charts. If we didn’t have games that could stay at the top for a considerable amount of time, then what would we have? Nothing but shallow overhyped crap that gets played and discarded in a couple of weeks.

  17. thegamermaimer says:

    This guy is always such a wet blanket… every week, he just hates on the games on the top charts. Gamers dont have some obligation to play every new game and sometimes they just want to play some classic or fun MP title… LIKE GTAV.
    I literally made an account on this lame site just to post this.
    To Alec: if you feel your opinion is so far off the average gamer’s, then why the hell are you a games reviewer? it takes a certain kind of person to do this job, in any medium of entertainment. why do you even still play games if you feel like every game is some esoteric joke that you condecend to, as if youve grown out of them all together?
    Does this arrogant nerd Alec Meer have any idea how many people would kill to have such a cool and interesting job?
    Wow stfu.

    • April March says:

      I imagine that the LIKE GTAV is a command, because otherwise I can’t parse your sentence.

    • darknessest says:

      keep up that pma. that positive mental attitude!