Though Valve’s digital game storefront Steam occasionally offers users a glimpse at player counts on specific titles, the company has never released in-depth, detailed information on any one particular game, regardless of popularity. This changed earlier this month when the firm mistakenly leaked tons of up-to-date statistics on the titles featured on its marketplace. This included games from some of the industry’s heavy-hitters like Activision or Square Enix. Steam’s database was exposed momentarily for the world to see. Luckily, many were smart enough to save the leaked information quicker than Valve was able to keep it under wraps again.
The following is a list of the most important details that the storefront erroneously leaked. Keep in mind that the information below has not been verified with the publishers or developers it pertains to. Thus, it remains educated speculation for now.
Steam Leaks – Call of Duty‘s True Sales Numbers
It’s no secret that the Call of Duty series has begun to wane in popularity. Its annual release schedule and an over-saturated market are perhaps its biggest enemies today. When publisher Activision announced that last year’s Call of Duty: WW2 was a commercial success for the firm late last year, however, it seemed as though the downward trend was finally at an end. Evidently, Steam player counts suggest a different narrative.
Though WW2 did seem to outperform Infinite Warfare, the gap in players was pretty negligible. The former sits at 891,381 total users whereas the latter has 869,560 users to its name. Though the game undoubtedly sold more on consoles than on PC, these numbers indicate that WW2 was only a slight exception to the negative trajectory the series seems to be headed. Compared to the lifetime player count of Modern Warfare 2, which sits at 5,267,226 users, it seems as though this franchise will have to switch up the formula sometime soon.
Steam Leaks – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Actually Performed Well
One of the most shocking reports that came out early last year was that of publisher Square Enix putting the Deus Ex series on hold for the immediate future. Eidos Montreal rebooted the first-person RPG franchise in 2011 to great critical and fan acclaim for its excellent narrative and innovative gameplay mechanics. Its sequel Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, however, didn’t live up to expectations, restricting player freedom and ending on an unsatisfying note. Rumors swirled within the industry claiming that Square had directed Eidos to narrow its original vision of the game. Given the recently numbers for the title, it seems as though the publisher also set unrealistic sales goals for the project.
Judging from leaked Steam player counts, Mankind Divided managed to accrue 1,155,405 lifetime users on PC. The original Human Evolution, meanwhile, has 1,358,070 lifetime PC players to its name. Each title more or less performed to equal success, which makes Square Enix’s decision to put the series on hold all the more baffling. Perhaps other factors like poor advertising spending really did attribute to the sequel’s unfavorable status in the publisher’s eyes. The gaming world may never know.
Steam Leaks – The Witcher 3 May Have Outsold Fallout 4
Would it be hard to believe that a non-Bethesda RPG has managed to eclipse the mighty Fallout in PC player counts? According to what leaked Steam data suggests and CD Projekt Red’s own estimates, this may actually be true. Don’t get us wrong — Fallout 4 probably did indeed outsell The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on Steam. The former boasts 6,601,188 lifetime players while the latter has 5,479,626 players to its name.
However, when accounting for what The Witcher 3‘s developer stated back in 2015, things start to look a little less clear. In a post on its website, the studio mentioned that GOG was responsible for nearly 700,000 players alone only a month after release. This figure has assuredly grown since then, though its anyone’s guess as to what the exact player count would be. Regardless, adding this number on top of the traction The Witcher 3 earned on Steam more or less puts it in the same league as Fallout 4. Keep in mind that Bethesda’s sequel isn’t on GOG, and thus wouldn’t have earned many more PC users outside of Steam.
At the very least, it’s an interesting prospect to think about. It would be interesting to see how Cyberpunk 2077 performs on Steam against Bethesda’s upcoming Elder Scrolls VI. Chances are that the difference won’t be very noticeable.
Steam Leaks – Lifetime Player Counts for Valve’s Own Games
Perhaps the most interesting revelation was of the platform holder itself, Valve. The company has become notoriously sluggish on the game development side as of late, but its leaked Steam figures indicate that it’s quite fine as is. Of the top three lifetime player counts on the storefront, Valve is responsible for two via Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. A list of the top ten lifetime player counts on Steam can be found below:
- Team Fortress 2 – 50,191,247 players
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – 46,305,966
- Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds – 36,604,134
- Unturned – 27,381,399
- Left 4 Dead 2 – 23,143,723
- Payday 2 – 18,643,807
- Garry’s Mod – 18,576,379
- Warframe – 16,332,217
- Counter-Strike: Source – 15,001,876
- Paladins – 14,371,946
Given how Garry’s Mod – a title based on the Half-Life engine – sold more than twice the amount of Half-Life 2‘s lifetime player count (18.5 million compared to 8.8 million), it’s no wonder fans haven’t seen a third iteration in the series. If anything, a new Portal game seems more likely, as the second title in the franchise had nearly 50% more players than Half-Life 2. Whether we’ll see any new games from Valve in the future remains anyone’s guess. For now, it’s warranted that the company is resting on its laurels.
What Steam statistics surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below!