Steam Charts: The Great Collapse Edition

Right, well, I’ve had a month off writing this it seems, so it’s time to check that Brendan and Alice have been looking after the Steam Charts properly. Obviously it requires regular watering, and perhaps most importantly, weeding, to prevent things getting out of contr… ALICE AND BRENDAN! COME HERE IMMEDIATELY!

Honestly, I turned my back for 41,760 minutes and the entire thing has collapsed into madness. According to Steam’s official figures for top grossing games of the last week, Far Cry 5 occupies six of the top ten spots. And look, you might want to sit down: Plunkbat isn’t at number one.

9. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

It’s good to know not everything’s broken. At least I can still feel the will to live slipping away at seeing the words “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” appearing in my RSS feed.

To punish everyone for this, I give you the image above.

7. PixARK

There was a part of my wilting husk that saw this name and thought, “Oh! Hooray! Something new in the charts! And then I found out what it was, and the decay continued.

Imagine if you took Ark, that most omnipresent of games, and combined it with Minecraft, that most omnipresent of games. You’d get PixARK, a mixture of the two, as if Ark weren’t already a mixture of Minecraft and dinosaurs and death, except PixARK doesn’t have the death. Or something. I don’t know, I’m too busy watching games collapse in on themselves like a dying star.

6. Grand Theft Auto V

What’s Another Thing You Could Buy Instead Of GTA V Again?

This Darth Vader tea set

2. Plunkbat

But what does this even mean? I don’t know how to… no, it’s important that we maintain control in times of crisis. So here is a song. A song will get us through:

10, 8, 5, 4, 3 & 1. Far Cry 5

We’re still devouring Far Cry 5’s lunatic contents, equally delightfully and maddening, fun and and dreadful, and you can find all that discussed via a click on the name above.

But what you’re really wondering is how it’s occupying six different spots, including Plunkbat’s. The answer is, you’ll be fascinated to learn, we don’t know! We’ve tried to guess at how these ridiculous charts are compiled and every time some other factor seems to thwart our best theories.

We’d ask Valve, but they’d be far too busy making games to get back to us.

A ha.

Ah ha ha ha ha.

AH HA HA AH, AHA, HA HA HA!

AHA HA.

Sorry.

Aha.

The Steam Charts are compiled via Steam’s internal charts of the highest grossing games on Steam over the previous week.

55 Comments

  1. BobbyDylan says:

    Far Cry 5 seems to be getting a lot of good press. I’m at a bit of a loss to why. It’s a slightly above average game, a 6.5 in my opinion. It’s basically far cry 3 with rednecks and the most ineffectual villains I’ve ever seen in a game. At least the ending was a bit of a surprise, but by and large I can’t imagine I’ll ever play it again.

    • OmNomNom says:

      Yeah im confused too. I was hyped for it but the end result is just so shallow and dull. All weapons kill so easy and the lack of enemy variety just means repetition every few minutes. Even full stealth with knives or melee has little value.
      I enjoyed FC3 (and even 4) a lot more than this but the games just seem to keep getting worse.
      Super disappointed as I was hoping for an amazing co-op experience.

      • Beefenstein says:

        “…the games just seem to keep getting worse.”

        Thought experiment:
        You produce products for mass consumption. Your products are generally safe and comply with all legal codes. In terms of quality you focus group test multiple options. You try a slightly more expensive, more ‘elite’ and more refined product down through more average options to a dumbed-down, cheap, but high-markup option that manages to garner appeal across the general ‘younger male who likes shooting things and Hollywood action movie’ demographic. This latter demographic is the one which buys your kind of product (which is, I don’t know?, monogrammed handkerchiefs which resemble famous historical figures as represented in manga style by an ageless demigod child who can’t draw and only eats hardtack).

        Your required response:
        How many second would you wait before you fired everyone and anyone responsible, including yourself, for wasting money creating and testing the more refined models of your product when your audience is quite literally a bunch of idiots who would happily buy a bucket full of used breast implants because ‘it has boobs in it’?

        • Babymech says:

          Now I’m actually tempted to buy Far Cry 5. You say it has boobs in it, hm?

        • OmNomNom says:

          The the more elite and refined game existed I’d be playing it. It doesn’t so I’m stuck with games like FC5

          • brucethemoose says:

            Exactly! That’s part of the strategy.

          • icarussc says:

            My friend, if you are not aware of any game more elite or refined than FC5 … then …

            Then you’ve come to the right website! Have a look around and choose something you like better!

      • Beefenstein says:

        “All weapons kill so easy…”

        It’s a power fantasy. It’s like dismissing Dragon Ball because ‘Goku beats everyone’. Yo, that’s literally the whole point.

        • Beefenstein says:

          (P.S. watch Hunter X Hunter instead, it’s magnificent. link to youtube.com

        • Premium User Badge

          DuncUK says:

          Funnily enough, “all weapons kill so easy” is probably the most realistic aspect of the game. The fact they don’t kill you just as easily is why there’s no challenge.

        • OmNomNom says:

          But it takes them forever to kill you.

        • MikoSquiz says:

          To be fair, that is an entirely appropriate reason for declining to waste any time on Dragonball, if you’re over six. Just because something is “the point” doesn’t make it worthwhile. Are Moldy Peaches or Die Antwoord any more worth listening to because they’re stupid and awful on purpose instead of by accident?

      • Sandepande says:

        At least the enemies won’t take half a clip to go down.

        They occasionally could, though. But not always.

    • woodsey says:

      It’s probably a good advertisement for carpet-bomb, uh, advertising. I feel like it’s absolutely everywhere but the actual reviews have been pretty lukewarm (lots of 7s).

    • Michael Anson says:

      Personally, I’d probably enjoy Far Cry 5 better than 4 or 3 because the people you fight alongside don’t appear to be examples of human excrement for the most part. Far Cry 3 was well put together, but at the same time I didn’t feel sympathy for anybody in that game because they were all awful people. In Far Cry 5, there’s a number of people who just want to live their life and the protagonist is literally trying to do their job and survive. It’s a big difference, at least for me.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        Hm… I guess. It doesn’t help that everyone in the game is retarded, tho. I mean, one of the endings, is you leaving to go call the national guard. I’ve been wondering why my character didn’t do that from the moment the game starts.

        • Michael Anson says:

          Having seen the opening of the game, the answer is actually given. The phone lines out of the area are cut, the area is geographically isolated from useful radio contact, the roads are all blocked, and the location is too remote for anybody on foot to go for help in time. Admittedly, it’s all spelled out rapidly by the prepper that rescues you in the very beginning, but it’s there.

          • BobbyDylan says:

            And at the end you dive out and agree with he other 3 cops to go get the national guard. I mean, we agree in a car, not a plane or a helicopter. A car. Any one of the 300+ cars I stole could have done the trick. It’s a minor thing, but that, and the bad guys capture you and you “escape” about 8 or 9 times in the course of the plot just made me glad the game was over.

          • aepervius says:

            Beside the point of BobbyDylan this assume that nobody, absolutely nobody knows you were going there or were expecting you to come back or give a report. Which would happens in zero police force of the world. By the first 12h somebody would have risen alarm and sent somebody to check, and even if that guy was stopped 12h later they would have come in force.

          • Sin Vega says:

            But you get access to planes, right? Problem solved.

          • brucethemoose says:

            Which is a pretty ridiculous premise IMO. There are ALOT of DIY radio setups and off-road trucks in the American South, I simply can’t believe that even one wouldn’t be able to get out.

            And that’s without getting creative. You could screw up the power grid and make someone come investigate, for example.

    • UncleLou says:

      I don’t necessarily disagree with your 6.5 score, but I do think it’s a significantly better game than Far Cry 2-4. The more natural progression with the almost RPG-like structure, the lack of icon vomit, the unintrusive UI, the (at least slightly) improved vehicles, the buddy system, and the setting that, to me, feels a lot more “authentic” all make for a better game. It’s just more interesting to liberate a pumpkin farm, a church and a an old county airport than military outposts 1 to 567.

    • Bull0 says:

      I’ve only really had contact with the Father and John Seed and they were both horrible and fairly believable

    • MajorLag says:

      > Far Cry 5 seems to be getting a lot of good press. I’m at a bit of a loss to why

      Gaming press especially is notoriously hype-prone and easy to buy. Combine that with the game not being complete crap or way over-promising and none of this is really that surprising.

  2. ikehaiku says:

    That article actually made my day: I’m off to install an emulator and find a copy of Buggy Boy (probably the Amstrad CPC version, because that’s the one I used to have….I mean have.)

    • Kefren says:

      I loved the appearance of Buggy Boy as well! The screenshot looks like the Amiga version, which is my favourite one to play, but I liked the C64 version too since that was the first I played.

    • Mr Coot says:

      Warm feelings from me too. The colours don’t look quite right for the Amiga, tho’. Off to contemplate pixel soccer balls and their sound effects which are responsible for some happy neuronal pathways.

  3. duns4t says:

    I think the inclusion of arcade mode/map building to FC5 was really smart and will nurture ongoing sales too. Other developers and publishers take note! I do hope they also add a setting to tweak the normal game’s frequency or density of spawns/scripts, too, for the ability to navigate or fish peacefully, or to have a full-on downpour of enemies attacking.

  4. Beefenstein says:

    Far Cry 5 is a great game so I’ve heard because what I’ve heard is that I’ve heard it has guns in, so I’ve heard, and also a bird, and Thora Hird, and this is a word, I’m eating beancurd.

  5. Beefenstein says:

    Are people who buy Far Cry 5 statistically more or less likely to complain that X game series is “repetitive”?

    Oh I hope that BR games don’t become a thing because then too many games are all the same.
    “Do you instead hope that all games are like Far Cry 5, which was itself so much like 4 and 3 that they are interchangeable in many ways?”
    Hahaha what are you talking about???

    • Babymech says:

      Honestly, I would guess that a good goddamn third of the people who buy FC5 will tell you that FC5 is repetitive and creatively bankrupt… but it’s filling. It’s why I’d play it myself if it was on sale.

    • alphager says:

      Look, I’m someone with a long history with games. I fall staunchly on the “videogames can be art” side of the debatte, I love me some Indie games and i even enjoy what people like to call wakling simulators.

      Despite of all of this, I bought FC5. Farcry is the chain Burger to my otherwise six course french menus: It’s unhealthy, derivative and has zero personality, but sometimes you just crave something like that and you always get exactly what you expected.

    • Carra says:

      It helps that there’s 4 year between Far Cry 4 & 5.

      Similar with Fallout 4. Sure, it’s a *lot* like Fallout: New Vegas but with five years between them, I had a ton of fun again.

  6. pikki says:

    Nice music :)

  7. Lacero says:

    The joke about valve being busy making games made me laugh so much I cried.

    But without the laughing :(

  8. Caiman says:

    Far Cry 5 seems to have run the Far Cry series through the stupidity simulator genre, a la goat simulator, to court the streamers who seem to turn clips of stupid shit into revenue for publishers. Expect the next Total War game to have slightly broken comedy physics and take up the entire chart.

    • Faldrath says:

      There is a very interesting phenomenon here in need of study: the transition of a certain subset of games from “games you play alone” to “games you watch other people play”. Of course, it has been going for a while now (see Ellie Gibson’s article in Eurogamer this weekend – a large percentage of people who watch game footage on YT have never played a game). But the impact this can have on game design still deserves some attention, especially since it can become more lucrative to design a game few people play but millions watch instead of a game that hundreds of thousands play.

      • Beefenstein says:

        > There is a very interesting phenomenon here in need of study: the transition of a certain subset of games from “games you play alone” to “games you watch other people play”.

        I think the massive success of online streaming pornography is strongly influencing game developers.

        • Premium User Badge

          phuzz says:

          “the massive success of online streaming pornography”
          I’m assuming you mean pornography in a metaphorical sense there because live streaming porn (aka “cam models”) has been around for about fifteen-twenty years (longer if you take JenniCam as the starting point) and I’ve never noticed any crossover into games. Well, there was Night Trap I suppose.

          • brucethemoose says:

            Its just a matter of time. I mean, cosplays and naughty art of game characters is already a big thing, maybe it’ll follow a similar transition.

  9. nitric22 says:

    The song got me through,
    Though I had to keep checking my pulse,
    Plunkbat in position two,

    But should it hit three,
    The charts may convulse,
    and the universe implode mysteriously.

  10. Zenicetus says:

    “Fun and dreadful” is a good description of FC5. I bought it for the open world stuff, which is okay but could use more enemy variety and less frequent encounters. But then the game insists on cramming in heavily scripted missions that remove player agency, the exact thing I bought the game for. “Run over there, push that button, kill those guys, run over there, push that button!” Rinse and repeat, just terrible writing and scripting to put the player through something that looks like a Hollywood action movie.

    I finished the John Seed area, including the overly long and bombastic final mission, and I think I’ll retire the game for now. I don’t think I want to go through another one of those, just to have fun in the open world areas.

  11. Hyena Grin says:

    Ubisoft hasn generally become good at making games that people kinda want to play despite themselves.

    There’s often this air of people acting like Ubi has pulled some trick YET AGAIN, because surely nobody would buy these games for any legitimate reason.

    If that were true, people would’ve stopped buying Ubi games after AC Brotherhood. They’ve been very consistent since then. Every game is kind of a variation on a theme, and people keep lapping it up.

    They’re not bad games. They’re not great, but they’re not bad. They provide open-world freedom and a power fantasy, and for a lot of people that’s frankly enough.

    I might personally fail to understand why people keep playing MMOs when they are incredibly repetitive, or why people keep buying PvP games when it’s just the same confined spaces and over and over.

    But it’s not that complicated; clearly they’re getting something out of those experiences that I don’t. I could try to pretend that these experiences are inferior in some way, but that’d be arrogant.

    Far Cry 5 was disappointing in the sense that its story wasn’t as interesting a commentary on current events as the promotional material implied it might be, and because I didn’t think they did enough with the story they had even in absence of the current events angle.

    But in terms of just raw gameplay, like Ghost Recon: Wildlands, it does more than enough right to justify it’s existence.

    • Zenicetus says:

      “There’s often this air of people acting like Ubi has pulled some trick YET AGAIN, because surely nobody would buy these games for any legitimate reason.”

      My personal problem here is that I bought and greatly enjoyed Assassin’s Creed Origins, and thought that boded well for FC5. AC Origins is a well-designed game, with a few scripted missions but not many. The balance of exploring and allowing the player to set the pace, choosing combat when it seemed natural and not seeming forced, was very good. I had a blast playing it, with only a few minor gripes here and there.

      I know the dev studios might be different, but if we’re going to use Ubi as a “game type” for open worlds, I thought AC Origins meant they were learning how to do these games so much better. And then FC5 does the opposite.

      • Premium User Badge

        Nauallis says:

        You’re comparing a third-person stealth adventure game the primarily features melee weapons to a first-person shooter. Your expectations are the problem, not the failure of the developer.

        FC5 is a huge improvement over FC4 & Primal.

  12. Someoldguy says:

    In situations like this I vote that RPS should fill up the vacant slots with the next-bestselling games that they find genuinely interesting, even if that means delving deep down into the top 100.

    • Hyena Grin says:

      They can’t, because Valve doesn’t release that info. This list is the only information they release. This has been mentioned before, and it’s weird, but that’s just the reality of the situation.

      • UncleLou says:

        I am not sure what you mean, their “global top sellers” list has nearly 15,000 entries, in, er, some order. Whether that reflects actual sales I do not know, but I assume the RPS article is based on exactly that list, no?

        (That said, FC5 had and has only one entry when I check Steam. Maybe I am looking at the wrong list after all?)

        • Hyena Grin says:

          I don’t know exactly how it works, but Valve releases a specific list every week and only ten titles are on it, in order of sales. They otherwise are tight-lipped about details.

          I don’t think then global list is ordered, making it kinda useless? You might as well just randomly select games off the top of your head, kinda defeats the purpose. I don’t know much about it, though. I just remember someone at RPS explaining why they don’t just take the next games in the list; because there’s no more list.

          • hotmatrixx says:

            uuum there is this site;
            link to steamcharts.com

            and you can visit any page on there that you want, eg
            link to steamcharts.com

            there are thousands of game, listed, in order or concurrent players.

            The top 100 are the first 4 pages, BTW.

          • Premium User Badge

            Nauallis says:

            @hotmatrixx

            That’s great! The problem is that’s only ranking games by number of players, not sales. The Steam Charts articles are referencing the top-ten bestselling games on Steam week to week.

        • John Walker says:

          I even started including a description of the source at the bottom of the column each week! Look, it’s right there, in italics!

  13. daX98 says:

    These articles just get cringier and cringier

  14. kinderparty says:

    JFC stop calling it plunkbat. You guys are so obsessed with your lame little moniker. Game creator literally said “don’t call it that”.

    Why does steam have to promote this crap…

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>