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Average Steam game sales plummeting - Steam Spy

Storefront tracker says top games sell as well as ever, but the rest of the ever-expanding catalog languishes

The Steam store has just as many happy endings for developers as ever, but an ever-increasing number of sadder stories, if the latest Steam Spy figures are anything to go by. With the storefront tracking site having recently completed its first year of existence, creator Sergey Galyonkin took to Twitter this week to share some year-over-year findings.

Galyonkin compared sales of all games on Steam from April 2015 and April 2016, finding that while the number of games offered on the storefront had increased significantly, the number of copies sold wasn't increasing in step. Last April, the average number of copies sold per game was 13,655. This April, it's been 7,188. A median game on Steam now has 21,000 owners, whereas a year ago that number was 32,000.

As alarming as those numbers might be at first glance, Galyonkin emphasized that they weren't evidence of market saturation or an indiepocalypse. While the same trends could be seen in games with the "indie" tag, the successful indie titles appear to be doing as well as ever. Galyonkin noted that the 10th best-selling indie game a year ago sold 104,000 copies in April. This year, the 10th best-selling indie game had sold 102,000 copies.

Galyonkin provided a little more commentary on his findings in a post on Steam Spy's Patreon page, saying, "As you'd probably expect, we saw a lot of new games released since the last year, and they've skewed the numbers toward lower sales. But the distribution of sales remains pretty much the same with some minor increase in lower sales and minor decrease in the middle. Or, in layman terms: we've got a lot of new bad-selling games on Steam, but it didn't affect the top games, which still sell pretty well."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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