According to the revenue reports, the user awards, and now the most played games list, it appears as if gamers really did not take to 2016’s “diversity” driven agenda in games. Well, that’s according to a list of the most played games in 2016 that Githyp compiled.
Similar to Steam Spy, Githyp measured the stats on the most played games that Steam users put time and energy into throughout 2016. What did it show? That all the forced identity politics making their presence known in gaming wasn’t something gamers took fondly to. They definitely gave those games a chance based on the hours played, but as pointed out by Steamed, most gamers decided to sink back into titles released in 2015… or earlier.
So what were the top 5 most played games of 2016? Check out the list below.
- Dota 2 / 636,607 avg. players per hour (#1 in 2015)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 360,600 avg. players per hour (#2 in 2015)
- Team Fortress 2 / 50,802 avg. players per hour (#4 in 2015)
- Grand Theft Auto V / 40,258 avg. players per hour (#5 in 2015)
- Sid Meier’s Civilization V / 37,885 avg players per hour (#9 in 2015)
But don’t think that gamers weren’t willing to be socially “progressive”. They gave games like Mafia III and Watch Dogs 2 a go ahead. However, they didn’t stick with them for very long. In the case of Mafia III I just couldn’t get into the game due to the lack of gameplay depth and a sparse offering of mechanical diversity. It doesn’t matter what the skin color of the protagonist is, but your game isn’t going to be liked very much if it offers gamers less features than the previous installment that came out six years prior.
I’m pretty sure Overwatch would have made the most played games list had it been available on Steam. It’s a game that’s quite popular with casuals but it also has no gameplay depth either. The fun characters, inviting art-style and top-notch soundtrack helps give the game the appearance of being deeper than what it is, but after half an hour of doing the same thing, it gets boring real fast.
Other games like The Division also didn’t make the top 10 charts, along with strong contenders like Total War: Warhammer.
However, some of 2016’s offerings did make the peak players list. As I mentioned, a lot of gamers were willing to give 2016’s offerings a try… at the very least, as evidenced by the appearance of No Man’s Sky making the number 3 slot on the top 5 peak players list.
- Dota 2 / 1,286,617 peak players (#1 in 2015)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 845,806 peak players (#2 in 2015)
- No Man’s Sky / 212,321 peak players (new)
- XCOM 2 / 132,834 peak players (new)
- Dark Souls III / 129,922 peak players (new)
It’s nice to see deserving titles like XCOM 2 up there. However, No Man’s Sky should also have an asterisk by it stating “This figure was in result of the biggest bait and switch of eighth gen gaming”.
One thing is quite evident, though: this whole diversity and identity politics push just isn’t paying off in the long term. We saw how gamers rejected 2016’s offerings when it came to the Steam awards, opting instead to stick with old favorites, just the same as we saw how the actual sales saw games not released in 2016 taking in large pieces of the pie in total revenue in the previous year.
Developers and publishers seem to think that forfeiting good gameplay in place of socially aware topic matter is the way forward in gaming. However, sales, play-time, engagement and satisfaction from actual consumers all speak otherwise.
If developers continue to move backward with their gameplay offerings, don’t be surprised to continue to see pre-2015 games still rounding out the charts and winning all the community awards at the end of 2017.
(Main image courtesy of GretaMacedonia)