Steam Charts: Sale away, sale away, sale away

The Steam Summer Sale is here to rescue us from the same old games! Hooray! Hooray! Hoo-whatnow? Oh for crying out loud, the usual games are all on sale too, aren’t they?

Actually, that’s not quite fair. While the most wearyingly familiar names all make their assured appearance, there is a nice crop of different names thanks to the current heavy discounts.

10. Hollow Knight

See, it starts off nicely, eh? Now, here’s a game with which I accidentally courted controversy. Playing this last year, I realised I was having a perfectly pleasant time (between hateful stupid bossfight tedium) but not experiencing anything that particularly surprised me. It seemed, to me, to be a Metroidvania-by-numbers, beautifully drawn and well realised, but hard to even see in the shadow of Ori & The Blind Forest and Alwa’s Awakening. And after Owlboy so triumphantly reimagined so much of how the genre can be delivered, I found Hollow Knight to feel just too boilerplate.

Hooooo boy, people didn’t agree. That special band of people who dedicate far too much energy to not liking me I’m pretty sure had t-shirts printed up, and gave out fliers to unsuspecting passersby to let them know to mention Hollow Knight when condemning me and my loved ones. It turns out people really like Hollow Knight. People like it even more at 34% off, hence sticking a toe into the charts.

9. Fallout 4

A sizeable 50% discount sees the already halved-in-price Fallout 4 pretty much guaranteed to re-enter the charts. In fact, at just a tenner I’m surprised it’s not higher, given the gaming population’s seeming infinite supply of customers for Bethesda games. (Skyrim has, according to official figures, now sold more copies than there are human cells on planet Earth.)

Here’s an interesting Fallout 4 fact: There’s someone inside Bethesda whose only job is to prevent anyone from programming Fallout games to let the same button bring up the Pip-Boy as puts it away. The role is officially called Hotkey Director, although inside Bethsoft they’re informally known as The Guardian. When someone suggests, perhaps at a meeting, maybe in an email, or even just in some idle chatter over a coffee, that perhaps it would be more convenient if you could just use the same shortcut to open and close the cumbersome and dreadfully arranged device, The Guardian swoops in and has that person immediately fired. Staff quickly learn.

8. H1Z1: King Of The Kill

Also at 50% off, the game so unceremoniously Plunkbatted out of the charts crawls its way back in. So here is a list of the top ten longest insects on Earth:

10. Goliath beetle (11cm)
9. Giant water bug (12cm)
8. Elephant beetle (13cm)
7. Atlas beetle (13cm)
6. Actaeon beetle (13.5cm)
5. Titan beetle (16.7cm)
4. Hercules beetle (17cm)
3. Macrodontia cervicornis (17cm+)
2. Preying mantis (18cm)
1. Phyganistria chinensis zhao (62.4cm)

7. Dishonored 2

Good gracious, I hardly know what to do with myself. A single-player, actually properly good game from the last year in the charts?! Yet again thanks to a mighty 50% off, one of 2016’s best games, and one of the best FPS games in many a year, is seeing a pleasant surge in sales.

Perhaps the news of Death Of The Outsider coming in September also reminded everyone the game exists, and at £15 is obviously worth grabbing.

Here’s our review from last year, and here’s an art exhibition of piles of unconscious bodies.

6. Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor GOTY

How can it have been three years since Shadow Of Mordor came out? Well, I’ll tell you how: chronological time. It’s a scourge, and to this day our so-called governments are doing nothing to stop it.

I imagine E3’s big push on the amazing-looking Shadow Of War has helped people remember this exists and they idiotically forgot to play it. But the real reason for the chart placement is the absolutely enormous 80% discount on the already hugely reduced price, leaving one of the best games of the last decade available for just over £3. Oh, and that three quid nineteen pee also includes every scrap of DLC, all extra modes and packs, and a bunch of extra missions. Blimey.

It’s been a long time since I imagined doing my law degree, but I’m pretty sure not buying it at this price comes with a lengthy prison sentence.

5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTY

50% off for this one, which still leaves it after a year at a chunky £17.50. But clearly it’s selling like cold cakes so why would they lower it yet? (I have never bought a hot cake, and nor have you.) This is the GOTY version, so in there you’re getting both 25 hour expansions, Hearts Of Stone and Blood & Wine. Also all the additional guff that’s been added in since release.

It’s interesting to note (if you’re as desperate to find things interesting when faced with writing another blurb about Witcher 3 as I am) that the vanilla Witcher 3 is also on sale, at 40% off, for £15, but that hasn’t troubled the charts. People en-masse are clearly opting to spend a little more to get a lot more. Worth noticing if you’re putting versions of your game on sale, I’d venture.

4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Valve more typically go to extremes during the Steam sale, taking their big names down by 90%, knowing as they do that such enormous discounts add up to enormous sales. (As they have for the Portals, Half-Lifes and Left 4 Deads.) So it’s noteworthy that the endlessly top-selling CS:GO, recipient of some recent significant updates, is only getting 33% knocked off. That puts it at £8.

Which means you’d be as silly as a very, very silly ladder to not just buy the Valve Bundle for £13.20 and get every single other game they’ve ever made for just another fiver.

3. NieR: Automata

Just a 30% discount for NieR, but then it’s only three months old, and it’s enough to see the game catapulted back into the top end of the charts. And that’s without even its excellently named DLC, 3C3C1D119440927, that stays at £9.50.

Oh gawd, this has slowly devolved from stupid jokes to a factual article about Steam sale discounts. I’m so sorry. Here’s a bad picture I took of a giant anteater with a seven-day old baby giant anteater clinging onto its back:

2. Grand Theft Auto V

Even before the decision was reversed, any hopes of seeing GTA5 finally fall out of the charts to punish Take-Two for their spiteful takedown of OpenIV were dashed in the face of the sale. Even a concerted effort by Angry Steam Users seeing its Recent Reviews rating at “Overwhelmingly Negative” can’t combat 50% off. So here is a list of the top ten longest living animals on Earth (not including immortal cheats like that jellyfish that turns back into a baby):

10. Warty Oreo (140 years)
9. Orange Roughy (149 years)
8. Aldabra Giant Tortoise (152 years)
7. Lake Sturgeon (152 years)
6. Shortraker Rockfish (157 years)
5. Galapagos Tortoise (177 years)
4. Red Sea Urchin (200 years)
3. Rougheye Rockfish (205 years)
2. Bowhead Whale (211 years)
1. Ocean Qhahog (400 years)

1. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

It’s still top of the highest grossing Steam games chart despite not even featuring in the Summer Sale. Plunkbat is INDESTRUCTIBLE. It just sold its four millionth copy, and has grossed over $100 million. So with this in mind, here’s a picture of my son tickling a stingray.

Bowhead whale pic by By Olga Shpak –, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link


  1. eljueta says:

    Yup I’m getting me some Dishonored too methinks.

    • Vandelay says:

      Already bought and spent a fair bit playing it over the weekend. I am playing slow and searching every corner, so only just approaching the Clockwork Mansion. It really is just more Dishonoured, so far, but I am enjoying it more and more with each play.

      • Premium User Badge

        Nauallis says:

        I own but never got around to playing Dishonored 1 – will 2 make any sense not having played 1?

        • Zenicetus says:

          The second one can be played without knowing anything about the first one. There are a few references, but nothing essential to the plot that I can remember.

        • Seyda Neen says:

          It will make no sense.

        • fish99 says:

          First one is the better game IMO so you really shouldn’t skip it. The stories follow on too.

        • Suedealien says:

          Play the original first. There’s enough tying the stories together that if you play 2 first, you’ll probably want to go back and play 1 (and the DLC, which is heckin good). And they are very similar in style and game play (2 is just a little more refined and prettier). So playing 1 first will give you a really good sense of whether you would enjoy 2.

  2. tigerfort says:

    In case Alec is ever tempted to return, someone should keep a copy of this video handy.

    Also, thanks for the cute anteater :)

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Wait, what? I…What?

    • tehfish says:

      Dear lordy, that is the best video of all time

      OF ALL TIME.

      *presses play again, giggles repeatedly*

  3. Don Reba says:

    Just a 30% discount for NieR, but then it’s only three months old, and it’s enough to see the game catapulted back into the top end of the charts. And that’s without even its excellently named DLC, 3C3C1D119440927, that stays at £9.50.

    Not buyin’ till they patch it. Don’t want to support a developer treating their customers so badly.

    • fish99 says:

      I’m more inclined to blame Square given the amount of patches Bayonetta and Vanquish have had over the same period.

      • Ragnar says:

        You are exactly right. Publishers control QA and patches.

        One of the benefits of going indie is that you can patch your game without having to get authorization for it.

    • Ragnar says:

      Just to clarify, publishers control patches, not devs.

      The developers are often contractually prohibited from releasing patches without publisher authorization.

      As to why the publisher would refuse to authorize a patch, the contract may stipulate that they have to pay the developers for any patches, and the publisher may decide that it’s not financially beneficial for them to pay to patch the game.

      • Don Reba says:

        That’s a fair point. But, all the same, I also wouldn’t want to support a bad publisher.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Martell says:

    Here’s an interesting bit of trivia. BethSoft is one of the few publishers (along with Squeenix, Ubisoft, Activision and a very few others) that calculates my currency in realtime. Everyone else gives my country a permanent 50% discount on Steam.

    This despite all games I buy off Steam being region-locked anyway, and despite the fact that for the 30+ years I’ve been gaming I haven’t seen a single unpirated game for sale in a brick-and-mortar ever, and despite the fact that the average yearly income here is frankly unsupportive of those prices.

    On the other hand, I do have a 500-game backlog to work through. Now if only I can stop looking longingly at The New Colossus long enough to do that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      What is your country?

      • Unclepauly says:


        • Premium User Badge

          Martell says:

          Not quite that nosedivey of a currency, but close. Indonesia.

          Real life comparison, Fallout 4 Season Pass at GBP23.99 is the same price as Total Warhammer 2 at GBP39.99 for me. /madmuttering

  5. jon_hill987 says:

    I’m shocked John, SHOCKED, that you would name a particular species of Stick Insect for longest insect and then put a rather generic “Praying Mantis” at number 2. I demand species names!

    *goes to print tee-shirts and fliers*

    EDIT: Also, it is “Phryganistria”.

    • itsbenderingtime says:

      I really like the way it owns every other insect on that list. 11cm, 12cm, 13cm, 16cm, 62CM!

      And even though I’ve looked it up, I still don’t believe that the Warty Oreo is a real thing.

    • allthingslive says:

      He also called it a “Preying Mantis” lol. A little freudian slip?

    • Aetylus says:

      And not only did he misspell the qUahog, he understated its max age by over 20%. Seriously, can we get some proper facts in here please.

  6. gwop_the_derailer says:

    Not only do whales live long, they are also very adept at shortening other creatures’ lifespans via heart attacks.

    link to

  7. Baka says:

    And now I have Ms. O’Connor stuck inside my head for the rest of the workday. Thanks!

  8. GenialityOfEvil says:

    Fallout 4 – £10
    Fallout 4 season pass – £24

    • Daymare says:

      Dark Souls III is also 1€ cheaper than its Season Pass.

      Ahwell, I haven’t defeated the Soul of Cinder anyway.

    • Fingolfin says:

      Dishonored: 2,5€
      Dishonored+DLC: 10€

  9. Suits says:

    I believe it’s ‘Phryganistria’

    • Robert The Rebuilder says:

      Phrygan’ Internet spell checkers – a pox on the lot of you!

  10. Neurotic says:

    What’s the game in the header image, with the harpooned whale-beast?

  11. lasikbear says:

    OK, I will be the one brave enough to say it:

    Hollow Knight’s art style doesn’t look that good to me.

    • allthingslive says:

      I’ll be the one brave ‘nough to agree with you. The use of lighting is really nice and works well with the monochromatic color scheme… but the actual objects, figures and outlines themselves I think are really boring and uncreative.

  12. fish99 says:

    It actually is the same button that puts the pip-boy away. I think what you’re remembering John, is that you can’t put it away with Escape, which is the natural key your hand reaches for to close menus.

    Btw Peter Crouch is way longer than 62.4cm.

  13. GeoX says:

    I mean, I know caviling about definitions is meaningless, but Owlboy REALLY isn’t a Metroidvania, is it? I’m not sure why people insist on calling it that.

    • Nevard says:

      Yeah it really isn’t one even slightly, very linear game.
      …and I enjoyed Hollow Knight a lot more.

  14. icarussc says:

    Why, John, you’ve overlooked the recently-discovered-to-be-half-a-millennia-old Greenland Shark.

  15. allthingslive says:

    Man this summer sale has been pretty underwhelming. Shadow of Mordor is about the best deal here, although I think it’s seen the same discount before. Only bought a few this time around, the occasional sales come so often now too that whatever games I could want will be back on discount in a month or 2. I got a ridiculous backlog from last summer anyways

    • GenialityOfEvil says:

      Been this way for years, ever since they ditched the flash sales. People complained that they couldn’t keep up with the 6 hour sales, so they extended them to 8 hours. People still complained so they just ditched all variable discounts. So you get 2 weeks to take advantage of feeble discounts. Go team!

  16. Jason Moyer says:

    I buy hotcakes all the time, so I’m curious what that line was about as it clearly went over my head.

    • Vilos Cohaagen says:

      I also buy hotcakes and hot cookies. They’re best hot! :)

    • Ghostwise says:

      Yes ! Let’s form a covert, inept organisation hounding John for not respecting our love for hot cakes.

      And then we’ll spend years comically, coincidentally and accidentally foiling attacks against him by Very Angry Gamers because he gave the Identity-Defining Game a 8.5 rather than a 10.

    • Unclepauly says:

      The hot cake burnt the roof of my mouth. :(

    • Chairman_Meow says:

      That is one hot take regarding hot cakes!

    • Kaeltan says:

      Is the hotcakes thing maybe a cultural divide? A hotcake is not a cake that is hot, it is a pancake/flapjack/griddlecake. Maybe a UK vs US thing.

  17. Carra says:

    Far Cry Primal, Steam sales: €25
    Far Cry Primal, cd key site: €15

    Well, I got it at a bargain, I’m happy. Time to kill some mammoths.

    • Ghostwise says:

      I’m still wondering why isn’t on the list. Lack of an API ?

      • GenialityOfEvil says:

        CDkeys is still in a bit of a grey area, not so outwardly dodgy as G2A and Kinguin, but not so explicitly legitimate as GreenManGaming (no matter what CD Projekt tries to claim).

  18. April March says:

    Curiously, that list of longest living animals is identical to my list of best indie post-rock bands.

    Oh, and that three quid nineteen pee also includes every scrap of DLC, all extra modes and packs, and a bunch of extra missions. Blimey.

    I hope they’re good, because for some reason it’s impossible to buy the non-DLC version of Shadow of War. And yeah, I’m probably going to buy it now with this discount, and I’m cheap enough to be bitter that I might save like half a pound if I could get the base game.

  19. racccoon says:

    119 mins REFUND! 5mins REFUND! 20mins REFUND! 10mins REFUND! etc etc
    hit support for refunds!

  20. caff says:

    I had to google both “Phyganistria chinensis zhao” and “Warty Oreo”.

  21. eLBlaise says:

    I really wish I enjoyed Owlboy as much as I the demo convinced me I would. I don’t think I’ve put 5 hours into the game as of yet. Tell me John what am I doing wrong. Owlboy won’t tell me.

  22. xxbigboy1337xx says:

    is the author a retard? in fallout4 you press tab to open pipboy and press tab again to close it.