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Steam Charts: Gaming's Greatest Secrets Revealed

A load of hot air

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.

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In this article

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac

Dishonored 2

PS4, Xbox One, PC

See 8 more

Fallout 4

PS4, Xbox One, PC

Grand Theft Auto V

Video Game

Awaiting cover image

H1Z1: King of the Kill

PS4, Xbox One, PC

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

NieR: Automata

PS4, Xbox One, PC

PUBG: Battlegrounds

PS4, Xbox One, PC

Stardew Valley

Android, iOS, PS4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita, PC, Nintendo Switch

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Related topics
About the Author
John Walker avatar

John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, we killed John out of jealousy. He now runs buried-treasure.org