SteamSpy founder Sergey Galyonkin has released a report which showcases the sales of Steam games throughout 2016. There was a massive 369,886,548 sales in 2016 with a massive 53 million of them happen in December alone, which is Steam’s most lucrative month. These figures do not include in-game purchases or DLC so it does not include games such as Valve’s DOTA 2 which made it into their own top 100 Steam games 2016 chart.
Civilization 6 has come out top of the charts, ahead of Grand Theft Auto 5 which makes it into second place and CS:GO in third. The data is only slightly different from Steam’s Top 100 games with DOTA 2 and The Witcher 3 being replaced with DOOM and Rise of the Tomb Raider, most likely due to Galyonkin’s data not including DLC and in-app purchases.
While 2016 made (with a high margin for error) revenue of $3.5B, this is very similar numbers when compared to 2015 and this is most likely down to 2015 having some big money makers, The Witcher 3, Fallout 4 and GTA V which were newly released. Even with more games released on Steam in 2016, they are hard games to beat due to their mammoth amount of sales. It is also not helped by the fact that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare did not even make it onto the list (of 25 games), not being able to beat its older brother Black Ops III. Furthering the nail into the coffin is not helped by the other two biggest shooters of 2016, Overwatch and Battlefield 1 not being sold on Steam.
It was also reported that growth has slowed down in the US and Western Europe, while Steam concentrates it efforts into breaking more into China and other Asian countries. Players in Asia tend favour online games and have seen better growth of titles such as CS:GO and GTA V when compared to single player games.
There is a lot you can draw from the data supplied by Galyonkin, the most interesting being that some Indie’s such as Stardew Valley was able to outsell COD: Infinite Warfare by $6M more on PC. This could be a trend that shows a much bigger interest and uptake in the development of indie games compared to 2015 and 2016, plus the need for them by gamers. I would take a guess that by 2017, we will see many more indie titles make it into the Top 100 as that side of the industry grows.