Extra Credits and the Steam Data Leak

Back in July there was, for a brief time, a way to see some interesting data on a whole bunch of games available on Steam.  The total number of players for games on Steam that met certain criteria, such as having Steam achievements, was visible.  Naturally, people jumped on that while the opportunity existed.  There is an article over at Ars Technica about the whole thing which includes a downloadable .csv formatted file with all the data if you are interested.

The achievements portion means that a lot of games don’t make the list.

We don’t know how many people have played EverQuest or EVE Online on Steam, for example. We do have a number for EVE Valkyrie.  That came in 4376th place with 15,182 players.  And DC Universe Online made the cut and has had 2.8 million players on Steam.  But free is a pretty big advantage and that number doesn’t have anything to do with how long people played or if they ever used the cash shop or otherwise spent a nickel on the game.

The crew at Extra Credits did a video looking at the list and exploring some of the tidbits they found.  It is fun and worth a view.


One of the disparities they point out but do not fully explore is the difference in players between Civilization V and Civilization VI.

Civ V sits in 14th place with 12.7 million players while Civ VI is down in 90th position with 3.6 million players.  Their proposition is that people are waiting for all the DLC to hit before making their purchase, something I don’t quite buy.   Having played both, I don’t think Civ VI brought much to the table aside from even greater graphic detail that you’ll want to shut off to make it run well.

But you would only really know this is you played it.  So I think this might also reflect the somewhat divisive reception that Civ V has received.  I know some old Civ fans who were not happy with Civ V and who thus probably never moved on to try Civ VI.

Add in the problem with Civilization: Beyond Earth (2.6 million players on Steam) which was… well… it wasn’t the second coming of Alpha Centauri, that’s for sure… and you can imaging that Civ VI might have been fighting against Sid Meier’s previous games as much as the reviews it got.  My gut says that Civ VI getting all of its DLC done won’t get it to Civ V levels of sales.

It does warm my heart that the HD remaster of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings has had 5.8 million players on Steam.  That is both the peak of the series as well as possibly being the peak of the RTS genre… leaving aside StarCraft of course.

And, of the more than 13K titles on the list, over 8K of them have less than 10,000 players, with last place on the list going to Disco Elysium, which has had three players.

Somebody had to be last

But it has achievements!  And, of course, it hasn’t even been released yet, so those three are probably just the Steam or dev staff.  But I thought it deserved a mention since it was last on the list.

Anyway, there is some data to play with if you are interested.

6 thoughts on “Extra Credits and the Steam Data Leak

  1. Vigo

    I don’t play Civ, but I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion over whether or not Civ 6 is even a slight improvement. It may be that a non-insignificant portion of serious players decided to just stick with 5.


  2. seanas

    I agree with your hypothesis: I certainly never bothered to even look at Civ VI, given what I thought about Civ V. I went to Europa Universalis IV instead, and 1600 hours (and 5 years) later, I’m still playing. First played Civ II in 1992 (from memory), but not playing another one after Civ V.


  3. Noizy

    Civ IV is really the last one I played (Steam has me playing Civ V for 9 minutes). If I ever get back to playing single player games, should I just play Civ V or pick up Civ VI?


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Noizy – I should go back and play some Civ V. I know I liked it for a while and have nearly 400 hours played on it. Civ V has the advantage of being old enough now to not require a top end computer to drive it and all its frills. Civ VI is definitely still in that zone, so I would favor Civ V.


  5. Paul

    Brought CiV 6 for Mac and later for IOS. Still occasionally play Civ 5, where as I never got past figuring out what I was doing so horribly wrong with 6.Total time played in 6 perhaps 90 minutes.


  6. Tessa - Narratess

    I think there’s also a difference in playstyle between Civ V en Civ VI. The progression of city is limited to the tiles that surround it in Civ VI. It’s more strategic. I personally don’t like that at all, since I play super casual. Even the more hostile AI is throwing me off from playing Civ VI in low difficulties.


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