Well, this really isn’t the chart I’d expected to see at this point of the year. We’re in peak Silly Season, and yet last week’s 10 best-selling games on Steam form a broadly unexpected bunch.
Which is exactly what I like to see.
I did not expect this. It’s Call of Duty month. Dishonored month. Ubimap month. And yet here’s a rollercoaster builder sitting right on top the Steam charts as though that were perfectly ordinary. As though we were back in 1999. Do not get me wrong: this is a glorious thing. Whenever I come to write these charts, I desire nothing more than to see less predictable games doing well for themselves. Design and simulation: these are age-old PC game values, and it is wonderful to see them trumping (sorry) the brands and the murdering. It also, of course, puts paid to the belief that devs Frontier are reliant on Elite for continued success.
We’re big fans of Planet Coaster, by the way.
Other than its developers occasionally retweeting obsequious fan messages, I really haven’t heard much chatter about the most recent Lara Croft game over the past year – but it always seems to be hanging around, just out of sight. I’d theorise that there’s a continued big appetite for Tom Braiding, even if the oppressively sombre Rise didn’t entirely scratch it, and that means there’s a mass of people who jump on it whenever there’s a sale. (As was the case last week).
It’s a fine and attractive action-adventurey game in the Uncharted paradigm, and with a particularly well-done survival side mode, so they’ll have a good time, but man, I pray the next game rethinks the perpetually grim, unconvincingly-voiced Lara we’ve had for the last couple of games.
3. Dishonored 2
Only a one-week spell at number one, as predicted. I don’t want to say ‘I told you so’. I want to say ‘don’t blimmin’ launch broken games just after you’ve loudly proclaimed that you’re ending pre-release reviews because you’re so darn sure that you only make quality stuff, you rotters.’
New patch landed today, by the way – I’ll be checking it out right after I’ve finished this post to see if it finally makes D2 playable on my poor, confused PC.
It’s Civ VI’s month, really. Two top ten placements, week after week. I take comfort from the persistence of a series that has been there for most of my life, though I must confess, I have not felt much compulsion to return to it after completing my first campaign. (I’ll come back for the first major DLC, I’m sure). However, I’ve started playing Civrev again on my phone – what a lovely little thing that is for gaming in stolen moments.
Still enjoying a free weekend-based resurgence. I don’t expect to see this still here next week, but it must have a damned healthy playerbase by now.
6. Watch Dogs 2
Now, it’s tempting to say ‘Oh dear, this isn’t off to a good start at all’, but don’t forget that the PC version is still a week away, even though the console versions have already landed – to reasonable acclaim but underwhelming sales.
The buzz is that it’s a big improvement on its preposterously self-regarding forerunner, but so far it seems like the public isn’t anything like as interested.
I guess the world’s had all the iconic baseball caps it can stomach over these past few months. Still, maybe next week’s PC version will fare better.
7. Planet Coaster Thrillseeker Edition
No longer on sale, in fact. This was a pre-order bundle which granted beta access and some extra DLC. I imagine the latter will be back at some point, along with more parts packs than our tiny human minds can possibly conceive of.
Sid, Sid. Don’t do this to me, Sid. Don’t do this. Sid, don’t, The Vengab… NO NOT YET, don’t, Sid, I beg you, please don’t do this, please.
I guess Obsidian aren’t kicking down as many doors as they did with Tyranny’s predecessor, Pillars of Eternity, but they still get to say they’re doing better than Call of Duty right now, which is a pretty goddamn big deal for a cRPG.
Note because people always ask: these charts are Valve’s officially-released summation of what sold best over the previous week. It is not the same as what the Steam front page claims is selling best right now, and nor do I have access to any more data than the above.