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Steam Charts: An Incorvonient Truth

We’re nearly at the end of silly season: most of the big releases are out now, with only Watch No Underscore Dogs Two really still to go. It’s been a messy one for a lot of the big companies, by all accounts. Let’s see how it shook out during Dishonored 2 launch week.

1. Dishonored 2 Pre-Order

Worth saying: this is a month in which Dishonored makes it to number one, but Call of Duty does not. I take some heart from that, that perhaps people are tiring from straight-up gun games and thirst for something that does more.

The flipside of this is that I consider Dishonored 2’s launch condition on PC to be totally unacceptable (though I acknowledge that it’s been fine for many, including Adam), and as such my own miserable little take is that it simply does not deserve to be number one. Not on PC, not yet.

This is very similar to the Batman: Arkham Knight PC situation, except the world has not turned on Bethesda/Arkane in quite the same way. That may well be because, unlike Warner were, they’ve been immediately open and apologetic about the performance issues affecting a great many PC players, and quickly promised a patch soon. Or it may be because there is so much warmth towards Dishonored. I can’t wait to play it properly, I really can’t, but right now the experience is just too gruesome for me.

2. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

This has been an enormous success. It continues to outsell COD on PC. Never thought I’d see the day.

3. Tyranny

Also apparently an enormous success: Obsidian’s ongoing return to cRPGs (following Pillars of Eternity) after so many years handling expensive licensed sequels. John’s a little conflicted about it, however: “Exquisite detail, but all going by too fast. And yet, pretty good with it. Just not as good as what’s come before.”

4. Football Manager 2017

In such dark and uncertain times, I take great comfort from the fact that a large number of people continue to want to play a primarily statistical football game. I can use Football Manger to pretend that nothing has changed. (Er, even though it’s got Brexit in it).

5. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

The Deluxe Edition (which includes a season pass), almost certainly. Add this to the standard edition and Civ would quite likely be number 1 again – now having bested both COD and Dishonored. Montezuma would be proud.

6. Dishonored 2

Well, maybe scratch the above. It’s Dishonored’s week – though I wonder if it will plummet next week, as word of these tech issues spreads further and wider. Also: it’s entirely possible that there have been quite a few refunds too.

7. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Back when I worked on GamesIndustry.biz, I covered Activision earning calls, and they were all about promising that they could exceed the previous year’s Call of Duty sales. It seems that time is over. Has exhaustion set in, or has Activision-Blizzard cannibalised itself by Overwatch being so very successful? I won’t be enormously surprised if COD ends up taking a gap year, as Assassin’s Creed has, some time soon, to recharge creative batteries and allow audience anticipation to rebuild. Also to rethink whether throwing the sci-fi farm at it was the wrong approach, and going back to ‘real’ war may be required.

8.Transport Fever

Oh, hello you. Just the sort of thing I like to see here. You’ve flown under my radar until now, admittedly, but now I have a sudden fever for Fever.

9. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

HONNNNK Do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do HONNNK Do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do WE

10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Keeps on sneaking right back on in here every time there’s a free weekend and a sale (it was half price for a few days until yesterday). I believe I can picture exactly why. The word of mouth is very good, but the name – both the mouthful of it, the fatigue of Clancygames and a sense that Rainbow Six is old-fashioned compared to crazy CODfield heroics – stops people from just taking a chance. Then Ubisoft drop another free weekend and they get to see what the fuss is about. They play a few hours and then they’re hooked on the upgrade Pringles, and so can’t resist the cut-price. This is a smart lesson in how to redeem an underwhelming launch, and give an online shooter the long tail that is so vital nowadays. I suspect we’ll be seeing COD:IW doing similar.

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