Steam Charts: Gaming’s Greatest Secrets Revealed

As the Steam Summer Sale closes, here’s the last of the charts influenced by the discounts, before they return to being exactly the same as they were before the sale, and indeed during it.

So this week we’re going to dig into the history of these familiar names, revealing some secrets of their pasts that many may not already know.

10. Fallout 4

Very few remember this, but the Fallout series did not in fact begin with Fallout 3. People will be surprised to learn games were released prior to the series’ latter popularity amongst players. Perhaps if you’re a bit of an aficionado you may have heard of Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood Of Steel? But even before even this there were games called Fallout One and Fallout Two: Post Nuclear. Released in the late 90s, lost among the more popular genres of adventure games and the rise of FMV, these hopeless Wasteland wannabees proved too irritating for players to enjoy, due to a memory bug that meant movement and actions were restricted to a limited number before the game would take over.

Fortunately, with the support of campaign group No Mutants Allowed, by 2008 Bethesda were able to prevent Interplay from making any more Fallout editions, and brought the series to everyone’s attention with the acclaimed Fallout 3.

Fallout 4 upped the ante by adding in a dog.

9. Dishonored 2

Harvey Smith’s self-made indie project Dishonored gathered a great deal of attention, and rightly so. Inspired by games he played in his childhood like Deus Ex, System Shock, and perhaps most significantly, BlackSite: Area 51, Dishonored was partly a tribute to these genre classics, while introducing the concept of magical acts to video gaming.

Buoyed by his success, Smith was given the opportunity by Bethesda to develop a follow-up with a larger budget and some developmental support, leading to the successful Dishonored 2. Dishonored 3 will be released in 2019.

8. Stardew Valley

The game on which the Harvest Moon series is based, Stardew Valley is a marriage simulator, wherein you must woo a bride or bridess by creating a farm big enough to lure your potential partner.

Upon successfully marrying, you then enslave your spouse to work the very farm that once attracted them so.

7. Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor GOTYE

The Lord Of The Rings films have inspired a lot of spin-offs in the years since, such as the online MMO LOTRO, a popular book series, and of course a number of video games. Few have been more successful than Shadow Of Mordor, a third-person action game set in time between the end of the prequel Hobbit movies and the start of the LOTR films.

In it you must annoy orcs, but interestingly this was never intended to be the main theme of the game. Originally Monolith had intended to focus much more heavily on a Dance Dance Revolution-style approach focused on Elven song, but due to a broken printer the idea had to be replaced at the eleventh hour.

6. Nier:Automata

Automata, the game that’s only good once you’ve completed it four times – no it’s six times – no three’s actually enough actually – no it’s four, is of course a sequel to NieR, the game people who bought Automata have to pretend to have played when discussing the new game and which ending is the good ending. NieR was itself a spin-off, this time from the classic Interplay RPG Dragon Wars, which was of course a spin-off from The Bard’s Tale.

5. H1Z1: King Of The Kill

H1Z1 had an infamously controversial development, being directly linked of course to the rapid spread of smallpox in 2015. Once the cause was isolated the resulting game was split into two different parts, with H1Z1: Just Survive released in a hermetically sealed environment, while the much more popular King Of The Kill is more easily available on open Steam.

In the game you must fight against the elements and survive the temptation to boot up Battlegrounds instead.

4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTYE

CD Projekt hadn’t intended to make another Witcher game so soon. After The Witcher 2 in 2011, the team had decided to focus on inventing the Cyberpunk™ genre. However, due to a series of mishaps and accidents, developers at the studio kept creating rolling hills and buxom wenches.

Eventually, amidst utter confusion and despair, they’d created so many it was considered wasteful not to go ahead and add Geralt to what they already had. Fantastic for Witcher fans, of course, but a big disappointment to everyone looking forward to finding out more about this “cyber punk”.

3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

No one’s sure for how much longer the façade of their being a game called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive can last. Obviously Valve is capable of manipulating Steam sales stats indefinitely, but eventually surely someone will break rank and admit the game doesn’t really exist. Is it video gaming’s greatest joke, or in fact just an unpleasant con? Only time will tell.

2. Grand Theft Auto V

As we explore the lesser known backgrounds to games this week, it seems only appropriate to return to our ongoing series, What Are Rockstar Spending All The GTA V Money On?

What Are Rockstar Spending All The GTA V Money On?

This week: wasted legal fees.

1. PLayERunKown’S BATTLegrOUNds

The whole “Playerunknown” pseudonym is nothing but a lie. He’s entirely known. He’s Playerknown. His name is Brendan Greene. There, finally we’ve said it. Sure, call it “doxxing” if you like, but we’ve had enough of this deception being allowed to go on.

baTtLEgroUNds is about pretending to be in the film Battle Royale, but what few know is it was originally intended to be based on the film Casino Royale. An unfortunate mix-up led to the wrong movie being copied, and as such the world has been denied.


  1. Hensler says:

    Blacksite: Area 51? Now there’s a name I’ve not heard in a long, long time. A long time.

  2. Kreeth says:

    “PLayERunKown’S BATTLegrOUNds” eh?

    You can’t get that code past me, I know you’re really talking about Plerk’s Batt Loun(ge). Which is presumably some awful brunch place in Bath which does lattes on toast with a whipped mocha avocado for only £15 plus a carton of Cawston’s press for the wee one.

    Seen you.

  3. evne says:

    Finally some hard-ball, investigative journalism!
    More of this sort of thing…

    • poliovaccine says:

      For some reason your use of the hyphen there seems to specifically denote, not “playing hardball,” but rather, “having hard balls,” which sounds altogether more… hard-ball.

  4. Grizzly says:

    Ooh, John, don’t even get started on Fallout New Vegas.

    • April March says:

      It is a little known fact that Fallout: New Vegas actually started as a fanfic by Chris Avellone about the original Wasteland game from 1982. No one knows how the fanfic became the game; to this day, not a single person who claims to have worked on the game has been found.

  5. InternetBatman says:

    I laughed a lot at “with the support of campaign group No Mutants Allowed.”

  6. Biscuitry says:

    Didn’t take many weeks for John to embrace the madness, did it? The big question now is which hapless member of the RPS team will get stuck doing the charts next. My money is on Quinns – sure, he left years ago, but since we’re embracing the madness anyway…

    • John Walker says:

      You make the peculiar assumption that The Madness isn’t exactly where I want to be!

    • TheDandyGiraffe says:

      No offence, but I’d rather Quinns focused on making his Ghosts Cool again. No update for over a month now.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Dios says:

    I strongly suspect that some of the facts stated here are lies, but can’t be arsed to check.

  8. melancholicthug says:

    The Fallout part made me so mad. Well done. Just pray the NMA folk don’t find out about this. They will END YOU.

  9. Jebezus says:

    CS:GO isn’t the biggest joke in gaming history. It’s a really successful game bud. You just never played it before and if you did maybe fps games aren’t for you but think before you say.

    • Buggery says:

      Hmm, sounds intriguing. Why have I never heard of this “Count the Strikes” before? I looked it up and it seems to be a Call of Duty clone?

    • Aetylus says:

      Fake news. Citation needed. Talk to hand. And stop perpetuating post-neo-con-liberal lies (please).

    • ThePuzzler says:

      I enjoyed Counter-Strike when I last played it, around twelve years ago. Back then it was considered something of a retro game, a graphically enhanced remake of a Half-Life 1 mod, which I’d played about five years before that.

      Is it still basically the same game?

    • John Walker says:

      Show me ONE shred of evidence that CS:GO exists. You won’t.

  10. TheDandyGiraffe says:

    You messed it all up again, John. Stardew Valley was based on CD Projekt’s famous Cyberpunk from 1998, and The Witcher 3 was created while they were working on a mysterious project “Harvest Moon” (working title, because c’mon, that’s not a serious name for a video game franchise). You were right about the hills though.

  11. JeePM says:

    I’m sure Fallout 5 will up the ante even further by adding a Rad-Guinea Pig companion or something

  12. karyonite says:

    “The game on which Harvest Moon is based”??? Stardew was based on HM, not the other way around ;)

    • PsychoWedge says:

      Nonono, Nintendo is actually the fictional company you leave at the beginning of Stardew Valley to seek a better life. When Shigeru Miyamoto, a young and upcoming Japanese lad, started to make his copy of Stardew Valley named Harvest Moon 2-3 years ago he named his company Nintendo as an easteregg to honor his big influence.

    • frymaster says:

      Doing the Steam sales report every week, especially when the same damn games keep showing up, drives whatever lobe of the RPS hivemind is tasked to doing it slowly mad. Luckily it’s early days for Mr Walker, which is why the symptoms are so subtle and unremarkable

  13. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Did anyone else read this in the voice of the reminiscing old man from the Armando Ianucci Show?

  14. Wickdsickk says:

    “As the Steam Summer Sale closes, here’s the last of the charts influenced by the discounts”

    False, Playerunknowns battlegrounds was not on sale, it did however outsell most games that were.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Probably because everyone was waiting to see if it went on sale and then said ‘aww fuck it’ when it didn’t.

    • John Walker says:

      Of all the things to feel the need to “correct”!

      You recognise there are nine other games in the charts, right? And that the other end of that sentence was a joke pointing out that the charts didn’t change. Right? RIGHT?

      • Wickdsickk says:

        And you call that journalism, i hope you dont get paid for fluff pieces like this trash.

  15. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    I think Plunkbat’s Tijuana Brass theme song and general lunacy are a good indicator that the Casino Royale influence came through in the end.

  16. toadbat says:

    Please do a smidge of research. Dogmeat has been a part of Fallout from the start. I really didn’t bother with the rest of your article because you got that wrong. You should at least try and be your own fact checker.

  17. Hungry_Horny_and_Loaded says:

    Damn, the fallout bit had me triggered!
    If only it wasn’t the top entry so I had some time to figure out my whereabouts first.

  18. bongart says:

    The article lost all credibility with the first entry, and this little gem.

    Fallout 4 upped the ante by adding in a dog.

    No acknowledgement of Dogmeat in Fallout 3. WTF?