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, 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.


  1. bills6693 says:

    Massively enjoying transport fever, much more than I enjoyed Civ VI so far. Transport fever is the game keeping me awake till 2am, scratches the itch well and I’m sure it’ll only get better with updates just like its predecessor Train Fever.

  2. BTAxis says:

    Aw. I consider Planet Coaster a pretty big deal too, but maybe it’s a bit niche?

  3. Sauch says:

    So glad to see Rainbow Six Siege on the top charts. I love this game so much and I’m happy that more people get to try and enjoy it as much as I did.

    • Ansob says:

      It’s a great game, despite the lingering technical issues (e.g. the hit detection that seems to get worse every patch) – and that’s mostly owing to Ubisoft deciding to commit to supporting it in the long run, with the developers continuing to overhaul underperforming operators on top of the new map/operator releases every 3 months.

      For those who missed the news this weekend, Ubi have also committed to supporting it for at least another year, so there’s never been a better time to start playing it.

      • Scare Tactics says:

        With the WatchDogs2 release seemingly well optimized and enjoyable and also the continuing support for R6:Siege I really have to admit: Ubisoft may have learned their lesson.

  4. EvilAsh says:

    I got a Fever!! link to

  5. Solidstate89 says:

    It’s funny that the new CoD game is doing so poorly, because it’s the first one in probably ever that actually piqued my interest every so slightly. Not enough to buy it (not an FPS fan, much less a CoD one) but with how out there it is and and different they were making the game, it for once was actually on my radar.

    Funny that.

  6. Minsc_N_Boo says:

    Have you guys heard of a game called GTAV? I was expecting to see it on the list somewhere. Oh well, I guess it’s not very popular. Guess I will have to buy CSGO instead

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      So when GTAV needs you the most, you abandon it? What you should do is buy, BUY until it has returned to its former glory as king of the list!

  7. typographie says:

    Where do the rankings on this article come from? Infinite Warfare is way down in the 40’s on the Steam Stats page with peak numbers usually below 10,000. As of this post, it’s competing with Transport Fever and Age of Empires II HD.

    • kalzekdor says:

      Pretty sure they’re based on purchase numbers, not how many people are actually playing them.

      • SuicideKing says:

        That is true.

        On that note, I’ve never seen the CoD player numbers break 15k since launch…and given that, I did not expect it to make it to the top sellers, much less remain.

        Given the numbers from Steam Spy, i continue to be surprised.
        link to

      • welverin says:

        It is the top selling list, but that’s apparently based on how much money the game made and not necessarily the number of copies sold.

  8. notenome says:

    Alec, quick stupid question: is this top ten based on the steam global top ten or your regional top ten? I ask because I only just discovered that this is A Thing.

  9. StevenP says:

    Bah, this feature isn’t the same without GTA V and CSGO.

  10. Jertornas says:

    They need to make a “Call of Duty: Medieval Warfare” to make me interested in that franchise.

    • Xenotone says:

      Medieval should be the next zombies. I’d play a medieval GTA.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      So would the kill-streaks in that game just be you push a button and a random person on the other team dies of cholera?

  11. melnificent says:

    I’m not sure I like this new look chart, where’s the GTA V gif? or the CS:GO meltdown?

  12. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    And yet none of these games will even come close to the storm coming at the end of the week.

    Be glad you don’t have to write 3DS sales reports, Alec.

  13. triplethreatguy says:

    Are you kidding me right now with that title?