Valve Says More Games Are Finding Success On Steam Than Ever
According to its data, more games earned more money faster in 2019 than in previous years.
Valve has put together some data in graphs and charts to show how individual games have fared on Steam over the years. According to the first graph, the number of games earning at least $10,000 in its first two weeks has increased every year since 2011, with over three times as many making that amount in 2019 than in 2013.
In its second analysis, Valve compared the years 2018 to 2019, taking a look at sales per game, and how those games break down into percentiles. The overall takeaway was positive: Valve found that the median 2019 game earned 24% more during its first two weeks than the median 2018 game. However, the graph tells a more nuanced story: games above the 35th percentile made much more money in 2019 than in 2018, while games below that threshold made less.
As Valve notes in the announcement, it's difficult to make meaningful conclusions about what this means for an individual developer's success--$10,000 in two weeks might be a game-changer for a small team with day jobs, while it would represent a major failure for a larger team. And according to an analysis from Ars Technica that uses Valve's own numbers along with the total number of Steam games provided by Steam Spy, the vast majority of Steam games fail to make more than $5000 in their first two weeks. No matter how you slice it, while things might be inching in a positive direction, the average Steam game doesn't earn much money.