Steam Users Spend Most Time Playing Dota, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress 2

New data gathering API reveals playing habits on Valve's digital platform.


The majority of Steam users spend their time playing games developed and published by Valve, according to stats collected by Steam Spy.

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Steam Spy is a tool developed by Sergey Galyonkin, a programmer who developed by web API as a means to provide information about the gaming habits of Steam users to indie developers, journalists, students, and "all parties interested in PC gaming and its current state of affairs."

According to the data, the top three games played by users over the two weeks preceding the publishing of this article are Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Team Fortress 2. The rankings were calculated based on total time spent playing each game.

Galyonkin notes on the Steam Spy site the API "extrapolates data from a limited number of user profiles and thus isn't 100% correct." Although it pulls data every minute, visualisations of data on the site are updated once a day.

The developer continues to further clarify how the data gathered and its accuracy: "Your usual political surveys are pretty correct mostly because you don't have much choice. It's going to be candidate A, B, or maybe C in some countries, so margin of error less than 0.1% should be good enough. After all, is it really important if final result for candidate A is going to be 34.5% or 34.4%?

"It doesn't work this way with Steam. Imagine users as voters, but instead of voting for one of three candidates, they're voting for several games from tens of thousands available in Steam catalog. Even the most popular paid games are reaching maybe 5% of this audience and most are in realms of 0.1% or even less."

He continues: "So 0.1% margin of error for a game with 0.1% of Steam audience would produce results that are mostly useless. That's why Steam Spy has to gather millions points of data daily to predict games sales and audience. And that's why Steam Spy is often wrong. Not by much, but still wrong."

In March 2015, Steam reached over nine million concurrent players. The record-breaking figure was driven by Dota 2, which peaked on the weekend of March 15 at about 900,000 concurrent users, while Counter-Strike Global Offensive reached just shy of 600,000.

Dota 2 was the first game on Steam to hit 1 million concurrent users, according to Steam's own game and player statistics page.

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