Steam Charts: Doing my duty

John has been writing these charts for just a few weeks and already he’s had to book a week off in order to recover. I am made of more sterling stuff, and while he’s gone it falls to me to share the details of which games sold the best last week on Steam.

10. Arma 3

Question: does Arma have genuine crossover appeal now, or are the same number of people playing as always and everyone else is buying it purely for its lively mod scene? Every time I’ve ever tried to play the game, I’ve struggled with its controls, its AI, its multiplayer networking, and spent two hours crouch-walking through bushes while exciting battles happened just beyond reach.

It’s currently back in the charts as it’s in the midst of a 66% off sale, which ends on June 22nd, the day that developers Bohemia launch their free 5vs5 spin-off Argo. It doesn’t star a bearded Ben Affleck, as far as I can tell.

9. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

A beautifully animated platform game about jumping to avoid spikes and and failing to avoid emotionally manipulative cutscenes. Everyone else liked Ori more than me, but I confess I’m interested in the sad owls of its just-announced sequel. Because I like owls. The Definitive Edition is also back in the charts – or in the charts for the first time? – as the result of a 50% sale which ends later today.

8. Tekken 7

Recently released and still riding high, despite the awkward split between its regular edition and its absurdly priced has-all-the-content version. Or perhaps because of: these charts are based on revenue and not sales figures, and so in some instances a high price might see a game feature despite relatively low sales figures.

We haven’t written much about Tekken 7 yet but we have a feature coming later today. We’re not expert enough in fighting games to review it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dress its characters up in silly outfits and then take screenshots.

7. H1Z1: King of the Kill

I wondered whether the grand success of Plunkbat would mean that Plunk’s previous work would start to dip in popularity, but apparently not. Question: now that battle royale-themed games are clearly a genre, are we going to see desperate mainstream games publishers jumping into the fray just as they did with MOBAs and CCGs? A battle royale game set in the DC comics universe; a battle royale game featuring all your favourite Runescape characters; a Kickstarter for Murder Island Dizzy.

6. Friday the 13th: The Game

Jason seemed to get off to a rough start when launch problems caused servers to go down on launch day, leading to a lot of negative reviews on Steam. Now a few weeks have gone by, it’s maintained its chart position, and consensus is that it’s a good game. Adam liked it, so I’m pleased to see that it’s doing well and wasn’t sunk by that early blip. Personally I haven’t played it – or ever seen a Friday the 13th film. I had to Google just to check whether Friday the 13th was the one with Jason or the one with Freddy.

5. Grand Theft Auto V

What’s even the point, now that Rockstar have shut down the tool which makes GTA5 modding possible? I played and enjoyed GTAV’s singleplayer for about ten hours – more than most Rockstar games – and I’ve dabbled in GTA Online, but these games appeal to me for i) the ability to walk around and look at scenery and ii) the ability to muck about with user-created mods. Rockstar had previously said they’d support that modding, albeit unofficially, because they recognised all the good stuff that had been made for GTA4, so to close it down now seems doubly shitheaded.

4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I’m probably supposed to write something here baffled that people are stilll buying CS:GO, but of everyone on the team I’ve probably played the most Counter-Strike. They’re buying it because it’s great. I dip into CS:GO only occasionally, but I sunk thousands of hours (and hundreds of pounds in dial-up phone bills) into CS beta 5.2, etc. back in the day. The game remains broadly unchanged, which is a comfort, bar the addition of a few new weapons, a few new maps, and some great new modes. I even like CS:GO’s DLC model, with all the operations and badges and so on. Keep buying it forever, everyone.

3. Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombie Chronicles

A rare appearance for DLC in these charts. Zombie Chronicles adds eight “remastered classic” Zombies maps to Black Ops 3, drawing from World at War, Black Ops and Black Ops 2. The DLC, which requires the base game obviously, also contains “2 All-New Whimsical GobbleGums”, which: what? I’ve never played any of the CoDZomb stuff ever, but I quite like Black Ops 3’s multiplayer. It’s more colourful than you’d expect, seemingly set in a water-logged world reclaimed by nature, features ample double-jumps and wall-running, and the series has smartly shorn away the most grating aspects of its upgrade system.

2. Dying Light: The Following – Enhanced Edition

I have still not playing Dying Light in any of its forms, a fact that shames me every time I try to look Adam in the eye. Or look at his name in our Slack room, which is more common. It’s a don’t-touch-the-floor first-person-zombie-parkour-’em-up and The Following is its expansion which added cars and the Enhanced Edition includes the original game and all the post-release bonus content. It’s bounced back up to number two in these here charts after last week’s sale, which marked the announcement of ten new bits of free bonus content to come for the game over the next year.

1. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

The Elder Scrolls Royale. SMITE: Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds but with terrible anime models that look like they’re from a half-finished Half-Life 1 mod. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Zombattlegrounds Edition. CCP’s Project Battlegrounds, which will be cancelled before release. Cryptic’s Fantasy Battlegrounds, which will be cancelled after a brief public alpha.

Sorry, I’m still thinking of all the battle royale-themed games to come. Because here it is again. Plunkbat is maybe the longest running number one since these charts began, and anecdotally at least it seems likely to keep growing. It’s now crossed over from ‘game other people play’ to ‘game colleagues play’ to ‘game friends play’, and somewhere in the middle there I even started playing. It’s pretty good! I got quickly frustrated by King of the Kill (and by trying to get PU’s Arma mod to work before that) but Battlegrounds seems a little less janky, a little more forthcoming with equipment, and a little better at spreading players across its map so that the pace has those tension-building moments of quiet.

24 Comments

  1. Phantom_Renegade says:

    So, your log in system is pretty shit, that’s probably something you should have a look at.

    As for CSGO, the only reason I can think of why it keeps selling like hotcakes is that people keep getting banned for cheating and then having to buy the game again.

    • gou says:

      or since the chart is based on revenue generated maybe it is the baffling skins market keeping it high

    • Faldrath says:

      Everyone keeps saying that but has anyone actually investigated that claim? Of course a big survey is probably impossible since I doubt Valve would reveal who buys the game again, but some sort of qualitative, quasi-anedoctal research should be possible.

      • skyturnedred says:

        In theory, couldn’t you just look up how many accounts there are with only CS:GO on it?

      • Ghostwise says:

        It doesn’t really matter. If enough people repeat it, it’ll become true.

        • Mrice says:

          I cant say if its hacking or smurf accounts but me and my GF play fairly regularly and i’d say i see month old accounts with only CSGO on, playing in master guardian, every three or four games. Its pretty rife.

          • syndrome says:

            I’d say farming. Rich kids want to hop in with their accounts “prepared”.

            I mean, just consider this basic Google query.

    • Premium User Badge

      Dios says:

      I would have said something similar, but i would have had to log in to reply. Seriously, the commenting and account system on RPS is godawful. Im pretty sure i’ve missed plenty of supporter-only content because of it. You know, the stuff i pay for.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I wonder if plunkbat will be on sale during the summer sales. I don’t want to pay $30 for it, neat as it looks.

  3. Ejia says:

    Are you telling me neither Alec nor John like to party anymore

  4. Coysonn says:

    It actually wasn’t Rockstar who took down OpenIV, it was the people behind GTA Online, Take Two. Rockstar has openly stated that they enjoy seeing all the different types of mods that people create. Now it’s not possible due to the shitbags at T2.

  5. wackazoa says:

    I like the idea of everyone on staff doing these for a couple of weeks before slowly going crazy and having to let someone else take it. Like even the brightest and bubbly can be slowly turned dark just from the steam charts….

    But on that note, keep Pip anyway from this job you monsters*!!! Just let us have one nice thing in this world.

    *Make Pip do these Muahahahahaha!!!!

  6. Shinard says:

    Ah! If the charts are based on revenue, then I think I know why CSGO and GTAV are always on there. They both make stupid amounts of money from micro transactions, and as they’re not free-to-play they get included in the charts.

    I’ve been wondering about that for far too long, glad to finally get it sorted.

  7. lfcifer7 says:

    If you had some time invested in GTA online you might be more appreciative. I agree it sucks to have less modding choices in an offline single player, but modding has ruined GTA online. The content Rockstar releases is even designed to fit with their hyper inflated economy from everyone just modding in trillions of dollars. As someone who only wants to play it online, this may bring me back.

    • UW says:

      Well, I think their economy is designed to make people buy shark cards. It doesn’t really matter how much money people who cheat have unless they stop the cheating, in which case it would make sense to make everything expensive to hoover up all the “modded” money. Maybe it’s a chicken or egg situation but the economy has now reached a point where you have to either sink a ridiculous amount of time into grinding the same dull missions, spend a ridiculous amount of money on shark cards, or hope that a random cheater drops money into your account.

      It is also worth mentioning that OpenIV was specifically designed to only be used in single-player game modes, and shutting it down is likely to do very little about people modding online.

  8. Caiman says:

    I still think this is one of the more pointless RPS regular features. Extend it to the top 20, that would at least make it more relevant for the majority of people. Seeing the same crap in the top 10 every week is tedious for you and us.

    • Ghostwise says:

      The staff mentioned, *IIRC*, that this is the most popular RPS feature.

      Which wouldn’t be surprising, since it’s a top 10 list.

  9. Premium User Badge

    MajorLag says:

    “Question: now that battle royale-themed games are clearly a genre, are we going to see desperate mainstream games publishers jumping into the fray just as they did with MOBAs and CCGs?”

    Of course we are. And the vast majority of them will suck, and Nintendo will show up fashionably late to the party with a new entry in a franchise badly in need of a formula shake-up and It’ll be awesome. My money is on Metroid.

  10. MarkCM says:

    Mr. Smith,

    Thank you for your service.

  11. Moragami says:

    I will by PU Battlegrounds if it gets a discount in the Steam Summer Sale. Why would anybody be buying a full-priced game now when they’re all going to be way cheaper on Thursday?

  12. WellWhaddayaKnow says:

    twas early june john took on the role that started his descent
    the last to try had left a note, john did not know what it meant
    it said “we like to party” left next to the charts that sent
    dear Alec, the previous writer, to his psychological torment

    The charts, if you didnt know, were what had sold that week on steam
    john begain with enthusiasm, getting this new job seemed a dream
    his first few posts were full of life. He was naiive I deem
    for he had no idea that some games would come back to take his gleam
    His downfall became more clear when he was five articles in
    CSGO and GTA were there each week. His patience was growing thin
    What if I stop trying? he thought, as he downed a sorry gin
    For those games ill embed old songs, that way everybody wins

    Its been three months those left in the comments section are just the ten of us
    the followers who have seen johns new love for the vengabus
    this weeks issue was not bright or happy. John no longer gives a fuss
    he’s given up. On everything. His apartment gathers dust.

    So if someone offers you a role at RPS on-call
    that because dear John has taken the reichenbark fall
    john failed to be sherlock holmes, the charts were moriarty
    and scrawled onto johns walls were his final words. WE LIKE TO PARTY