Steam has seen a major slowdown of games released on the platform for the first time in four years, according to data from SteamSpy.
Last year 8,415 games arrived on Steam, compared to 8,167 in 2018. With the number of games released on Steam rapidly increasing since 2014, this represents a notable change in pace.
The number of games released on the platform saw its first major leap in 2014, increasing to 1,609 from 557 the year prior. Since then, the number of games releasing on Steam has increased to nearly 2,000 a year.
The effect of this slowdown is seen throughout the data for 2019, most notably with the number of copies owned falling from 242 million in 2018 to 127 million in 2019.
SteamSpy is unable to provide precise sales data, but the number of copies owned "refers to total copies of games released this year acquired by users for the lifetime. Includes copies sold, downloaded for free and given out."
With both the average and median price increasing by around $1, it suggests the platform is seeing fewer cheap games released. It's also the first time the average price of games on Steam has increased year-over-year since 2014.
Games with very short development cycles from unproven developers have contributed to the discoverability issue on Steam, and this data suggests a slowdown in that area rather than a continuation.
With the data available, it's impossible to say how the arrival of the Epic Game Store contributed to these changing numbers.
However, what these numbers do suggest is reduced sales overall, likely resulting from the proliferation of live service games and possibly the battle for big-name exclusives.