Valve, the PC gaming market’s monolithic black box of digital distribution, has graced the world with several vague lists of the year’s top Steam games. The company released a list of the top 100 grossing Steam games as well as a list of the most played games of the year.
In their infinite wisdom, Valve has ranked the highest grossing games of the year in near-useless tiers. Platinum tier includes games like Far Cry 5, Monster Hunter World, GTA 5, and free-to-play juggernauts like Dota 2 and Warframe. Gold tier sees The Witcher 3, Path of Exile, and Divinity: Original Sin 2, among others. If you’d like to see the full list, which also prominently displays the sale price of these games, click here.
The next exciting list from Valve ranks games by how many simultaneous players they received. Perhaps less helpful than the highest grossing list, the “Most Played” list fails at granularity, with vague tiers that lump games together. Path of Exile sits next to PUBG in the over 100,000 simultaneous players category. According to Steamcharts, PUBG peak player count had a near 3 million in February, while Path of Exile topped out at about 123,000.
A third list showcases the top grossing new games of each month. It’s unclear how a game gets into this category, or why some months have as few as five games while others have over 20. Regardless of how Valve came up with the list, you can find it here. Titles like Celeste, the mediocre Secrets of Mana remake, Into the Breach, and the just-released Mutant: Year Zero made it in their respective launch months. It seems as though this list was a simple “if it hits a certain revenue threshold, then it’s on the list” decision by Valve. However the company determined their criteria, it leads to a useless page of game ads.
More likely than anything, these year-end “lists” from Valve are more of a way to advertise their yearly Winter Sale, and give people an idea as to what is available. Which, all things considered, isn’t a bad call on their part. They did manage to get this in front of our eyeballs, and I’ve been meaning to pick up Iconoclasts. Oh and here’s a list for VR games, and one for no longer early access games.