Watch the rise and fall of the most popular Steam games of the last four years

    
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For those of us who are visual learners (or heck, bar chart fanatics – and you know who you are), there’s an interesting animated gif that’s been making the rounds this past week. In it, the 15 most popular Steam games on any given day in the past five years are lined up along with the player count in a graph.

The video starts on January 1st, 2015 and runs through December 31st, 2018 as titles bounce up and down (and off) the list as the popularity of those games rise and fall. While there are the usual suspects present, including H1Z1, Warframe, Path of Exile, and ARK, some MMOs such as Atlas and MapleStory 2 make their way into the top 15 from time to time. Perhaps the most fascinating part is watching the rise of battle royale titles, including the moment when PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds finally toppled Dota 2 to reign at the top of the chart.

Check out the full rundown of the past four years over just five minutes in the video below, courtesy of YouTube channel The Rankings!

Source: YouTube. Thanks Sophiskiai!

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Fenrir Wolf

I look at statistics like these and I can see that they’re the sort to get any hot-blooded corporate even hotter under the collar. Sadly, profit never equates to the number of people playing a game. Sometimes, they can exist in a starkly inverse manner. I’m glad to see though that there are games on the horizon which are beginning to take this to heart.

Having a lot of players is nice and all, but that also means a lot of people guzzling up resources and the vast majority of them not contributing anything in return. ArenaNet has it right where you shouldn’t worry about maintaining the optimal number of people connected to your servers, because that just puts more strain on your budget. You should think only about making a profitable, fun game.

Because then you can make more profitable, fun games.

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Bob Smith

20 years later and counter strike is still going strong

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Annoyed badger

its noticable how the same few games stay in the chart, so many new games flash up high then immediately drop out……are most new games just shit? with no lasting appeal?

PUBG is noticable as it started off relatively slow, then took off steadily, rather than being a hyped buy and forget game.

Would be interesting to see the last few months added to this, auto chess has spiked dota numbers significantly.

semugh
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semugh

what do you think an MMO chart would look like?

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psytic

I think i’m most impressed with the Warframe that game seems to have been rock solid through the whole timeline. I have never been able to get into it for very long however but kudos to them.

Veldan
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Veldan

I wouldn’t say “rock solid” as it dropped out of the list twice and its numbers do fluctuate a lot, but yeah, it’s perhaps the most steady game if we exclude the few at the top

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Ken from Chicago

Civilization V! It was in the middle of the pack (I personally love the jumpjet warriors and the Giant Death Robot–especially after finding out about the mod that let you unlock tech and units).

Then it got replaced by Civ VI. I call this the Dark Times. But Civ VI fell from favor and rising back like the legendary phoenix, making its triumphant comeback, Civ V!!!

Veldan
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Veldan

You’re right. It’s easy to miss because it’s constantly dropping in and out of the bottom spot, but it does seem very steady all the way till the Civ VI takeover at the end

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Fervor Bliss

No Fortnite?

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Armsbend

Not on steam. Never needed to be.

Veldan
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Veldan

Nice to see Path of Exile grow over the years. The Betrayal spike was over 100k, which is really impressive considering that, based on past comments by the dev team, only about half its users play through Steam.

Also, the inital PUBG spike was craaaazy. Over 3 million? Madness. It lost 2 million of those within a year though.

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donvweel

I have Rocket League loaded on the box, looks like lots of silly fun.

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Chosenxeno .

One thing is for certain. Red Dead 2 is 100% coming to PC:)

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rafael12104

Interesting. I’d love to see something like this for Twitch. They count the audience sorted by games every day.

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Armsbend

I’m happy idle games are no longer a passing fad.