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Steam Charts: The RPS Effect

Some games in an order

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Have you heard about Steam? It’s a sort of shop, but not a shop with a door and a roof and some shelves. It’s a “virtual shop”, a place where you can buy games that, incredibly, has no walls whatsoever! It’s entirely rendered digitally, using computers.

We’ve taken a look, and totted up the games people are buying the most often.

10. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam – Digital Deluxe

Only managing to cling on to one of its two spots from last week, community-co-created RS2 has the distinct advantage of a modding community already behind it before it goes on sale. Still, two weeks in the top ten is impressive stuff, and perhaps more impressively, it’s the version with the bloody bonus pretend hats thrown in that’s maintained its grip at number 10, rather than the slightly cheaper version without. There was a time, about ten years ago, when another Vietnam game would have caused people to sigh off their own foreheads, but it seems the gruesome conflict is having a second (third?) wind.

9. TEKKEN 7

Steam, as we all know, is barely held together by spit and strawberry laces. So often, the result seems to be publishers having no clue how to actually put their game on the system, resulting in confusion when trying to buy. TEKKEN 7 demonstrates this nicely, not just with its two separate appearances in this chart, both of which link to the same store page, but when you get to that page, the realisation that it’s close to impossible to work out the difference between the two version that presumably lead to all this muddle.

There is just vanilla TEKKEN 7, which will cost you a princely £40. Or, should you wish, you could pick the green button immediately below and spend an eye-watering £60 on “TEKKEN 7 Deluxe Edition”. What makes it so deluxe?

The price tag, seemingly. Usually there’s a purple button that takes you to an ambiguous page that half-describes what the extra money buys you, but not here! Are people just saying, “Well, ‘Deluxe’ sure sounds fancy with its Frenchy e on the end! I’ll pay another £20!”?

The secret, it seems, lies in the “season pass” DLC further down, which Steam doesn’t indicate has a button, but takes you to a page that almost tells you what’s in it. Um, some costumes, basically. “Metallic costumes”, a couple of extra characters, and “a new game mode” which it absolutely flat-out never identifies! Oh, and makes no indication what DLC might be released across this unidentified season. Oh, and this gets about 430% more mad when you read the words, “Expand your fighter’s journey with the TEKKEN 7 Season Pass and gain access to stunning DLC packs at a discounted price.” Um, are they saying the season pass doesn’t actually entirely buy the DLC, just offers a discount?

Hats off to anyone choosing to pay 50% more for a top-price game based on barely any information though!

8. Football Manager 2017

I figure we’re going to have to take the credit for this one, since I haven’t the inclination to dig any deeper. [It was on sale last week -Ed] The game, released in November last year, hasn’t recently released any new updates, its last free weekend was in March, and it isn’t on sale. [Yes, but it was last week -Ed] So genuinely it’s hard to credit its sudden leap into the charts to anything other than our starting a diary series on the game last week. [John, it was 70% off all last week. Right when the foot-to-ball season had come to an end. -Ed] Good work RPS! [Sigh -Ed]

7. H1Z1: King Of The Kill

I haven’t played H1Z1, but I’m pretty good at understanding a game from a screenshot. H1Z1: King Of The Kill is a game about hunting feral tractors. Working in teams, with a range of weapons from sniper rifles to bow and arrow, players must ambush unsuspecting abandoned farm vehicles and attempt to tame them. The team with the most tractors at the end is the winner.

6. Grand Theft Auto V

As GTA V continues to ride the middle of the Steam charts from its release two years ago until the heat death of the universe, I’m beginning a new series called What Are Rockstar Spending All The GTA V Money On?

What Are Rockstar Spending All The GTA V Money On?

This week: drugs.

5. Northgard

Another surprise entry, freshening up the stale old stinky-stink of the fetid Steam Charts swamp, and another entry that can only be explained by RPS. [Oh god, no, not again. It was on sale last week, and just launched its multiplayer mode -Ed]

The Norse strategy game is still in Early Access, but of course last week RPS put it in our Top Bestest Best Games Of 2017 So Far list, which has clearly propelled it back into everyone’s minds and wallets. [It had a 25% sale, to encourage people to check out its biggest update since release. Just try to ignore him -Ed]

Nothing else makes sense, of course – the game came out in February, when Brendan wrote his assessment of the unfinished game – and then it wasn’t until we featured it again that it sprang to life. [It’s sad, really, I think more than anything else. But I guess it keeps him sat there, writing what I tell him, before the atonal screaming begins -Ed]

4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

CSGO is never not in the charts, really, but its current high placing is clearly thanks to Alice’s reporting on the Operation Hydra shennanigans that are currently taking place. Our bringing this news to the world is pretty much all that’s keeping Valve afloat at this point. [I’m off -Ed]

3. Friday The 13th: The Game

Three weeks at number three (HL3 confirmed) for this 7v1 slasher-flick-me-do. Nothing’s changed since last week, including the fulsome £30 price, and not even a new patch, so this is clearly selling based on word-of-mouth as people invite people in for a game. I’m no marketing guru (I am) but it does seem odd to me that there’s not an 8-pack discounted option when buying this, so people can gift it out to their gaming chums. But it’s clearly flying off the binary shelves anyway.

Someone made me laugh on Twitter this week when they observed that Nigel Farage was “a horrible poltiical Jason Voorhees”. There’s a mod someone absolutely definitely needs to make.

2. TEKKEN 7

So I guess this is the version of the game that doesn’t charge you £20 for what might be a discount on future DLC and some cartoon hats. It’s the fighting series’ first appearance on PC, and clearly they were losing out on all sorts of cash by not having done this before. Two chart places, one of them being what’s essentially the highest available position in a universe that contains Plunkbat, well over a week after release.

1. PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS

It’s all very well, these new-fangled last-man-standing shooters taking their lead from 2000’s Battle Royale, but what about when the kids start copying this in real life? Eh? Then people won’t be so impressed, will they, as children start dropping themselves off on remote islands and murdering each other until only one remains. For those kids who survive will only come the brutal news that all they “win” in such a contest is the rest of their life in prison. For the rest of us, the shame that we encouraged this latest craze. You mark my words. When fidget spinner sales start to slow, you just keep an eye on the Isle Of Wight.

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