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37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners

Ars Technica introduces Steam Gauge, where they go all grognard on the topic of game sales on Valve's service based on publically available data. It's very lengthy and detailed, and draws some interesting conclusions about the most owned games on the service (Dota 2 is number one), most played games on Steam (ditto), and more. Perhaps the most interesting statistic they present is "that about 37 percent of the roughly 781 million games registered to various Steam accounts haven’t even been loaded a single time.

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67. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 18, 2014, 10:32 Ant
 
I only play free games even though I rarely play them. Haha.  
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66. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 17, 2014, 14:13 Verno
 
Prez wrote on Apr 17, 2014, 08:29:
But but, I play a lot of them! Okay, yeah, my percentage is pretty sad. Much worse than I thought. It's not my fault I have no time to play games!

To be fair whenever I do see you playing something its always something different, very rarely do I see you playing the same thing twice. A for effort buddy
 
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65. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 17, 2014, 08:29 Prez
 
nin wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 15:00:
NegaDeath wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 14:58:
I think I can take blame for some of that percentage (damn you steam sales). However I've put a nip in that habit...mostly...by stopping before I hit buy and asking myself to mentally picture when I'll actually get around to playing it.

I blame Prez. I mean, he owns the entire catalog, right?


But but, I play a lot of them! Okay, yeah, my percentage is pretty sad. Much worse than I thought. It's not my fault I have no time to play games!
 
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64. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 17, 2014, 06:34 BicycleRepairMan
 
Re: people flinging around phrases like "retarded" here, buying games that you never play. After becoming a dad, I find that I hardly ever have time to play games anymore, but I occationally buy a game if its on a deep discount. retarded? perhaps a bit. Also, I have bought some packs, like the GTA/take2 pack from some years ago, included all the GTA games that I've played before, pluss manhunt or whatever that I've never bothered with, but at the time, it was cheaper or as cheap as the single GTA game I was looking for, so why not? retarded? perhaps.. Also, I know that some people nowadays make a steamaccount for their kids and fill it with cheap and discounted games, its a cool idea, but it leaves some unplayed games..  
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63. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 23:53 HorrorScope
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 10:34:
It's not blasphemy, I've said the same thing dozens of times. Yeah I've put 100+ hours into xcom and ftl, but many action games I want 12-16.

It also is different with the games you mentioned that you have 100's of hours in. That a single play-through doesn't take 100 hours, but it's so good you play it again. There are still always exceptions, like for many Skyrim. Not that I'm really telling anyone anything, I just love typing and I'm so good at it (not).
 
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62. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 23:23 [VG]Reagle
 
Ill collect games and not play them. I am sure others do as well.  
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61. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 18:03 saluk
 
Cyanotetyphas wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 17:30:
Beamer wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 11:03:
I always find it kind of interesting when people "play games for the story."
Outside of a small handful, almost every game story is pretty weak and poorly presented.

When I'm out just for story, I read, which I probably do as much as game these days. Books, those have stories. Video games? They have ideas that sort of form into a bit of a story.

Story here might as well mean atmosphere. I'm currently playing through Metro 2033 (God save the backlog) and while the shooting, stealth, scavenge gameplay is good, it's really the setting that makes it good. I'm enjoying wandering the mutant infested subway tunnels and sprinting across the toxic wasteland surface. I wouldn't really call that the gameplay because its the narrative adornments that make it fun, not the control implementation.

Sure most games aren't very eloquent but a lot of them do create a living breathing cohesive world that you experience through the story.


Story can also mean MY story. The story of what it's like for me to play the game. Often, the narrative is a part of this, but the interesting thing is not the narrative itself, but how that narrative integrates with the dynamic experience. While the story of The Walking Dead is pretty good, and the choices don't really matter all that much, the way that narrative feels with you directing it - I think it's that experience most people refer to when they say they play for the story.

Even a terrible or simple narrative that can resonate well through the gameplay can be a great experience. See almost every zelda game.
 
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60. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 17:30 Cyanotetyphas
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 11:03:
I always find it kind of interesting when people "play games for the story."
Outside of a small handful, almost every game story is pretty weak and poorly presented.

When I'm out just for story, I read, which I probably do as much as game these days. Books, those have stories. Video games? They have ideas that sort of form into a bit of a story.

Story here might as well mean atmosphere. I'm currently playing through Metro 2033 (God save the backlog) and while the shooting, stealth, scavenge gameplay is good, it's really the setting that makes it good. I'm enjoying wandering the mutant infested subway tunnels and sprinting across the toxic wasteland surface. I wouldn't really call that the gameplay because its the narrative adornments that make it fun, not the control implementation.

Sure most games aren't very eloquent but a lot of them do create a living breathing cohesive world that you experience through the story.

 
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59. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 16:55 Beamer
 
Aero wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 16:35:
I don't entirely trust Steam's statistics. I looked at my account once with one of those sites and there were close to a dozen games it said I had never played at all, but I had definitely not only played, but completed. They tended to be older games (I created my account whatever day it was HL2 was released).


Yeah, as mentioned, there was something like 4-6 years without tracking. I have at least 300 hours in CivIV, but only show somewhere around 70 due to this.

I also questioned its FTL number, then remembered about half my play time was done in the DRM-free copy on a PC I couldn't install Steam to.
 
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58. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 16:41 jacobvandy
 
There was indeed a period of at least 2-3 years between Steam launching and the start of tracking play time.

And I agree that the DOTA 2 and TF2 data is invalid because they are free-to-play. Hell, according to Ars, everyone that "owns" them has also played them...? Impossible. If 5% of the people that own Skyrim haven't played it, then at least that many people haven't actually launched a those free games that were added to their library on a whim. I'm one of them, for DOTA.

This comment was edited on Apr 16, 2014, 16:50.
 
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57. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 16:35 Aero
 
I don't entirely trust Steam's statistics. I looked at my account once with one of those sites and there were close to a dozen games it said I had never played at all, but I had definitely not only played, but completed. They tended to be older games (I created my account whatever day it was HL2 was released).

 
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56. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 16:22 Shineyguy
 
MacLeod wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 15:11:
Shineyguy wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 09:36:
[and got some garbage like Ricochet,

Garbage? It's Tron's Deadly Discs man! That's at least worth the load up once.

I believe I was one of those that may have started the game up once, but played less than 6 minutes.
 
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55. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 15:20 jdreyer
 
StaTik wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 13:55:
I imagine that there are a ton of Droid/PC Humblebundles that have bought the games for Driod and registered them on Steam just for the hell of it.

Totally true. I have about 5 Android Humble Bundles, all activated on Steam, but I only play them on my tablet.
 
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54. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 15:18 jdreyer
 
Creston wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 11:53:
Beamer wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 11:03:
I always find it kind of interesting when people "play games for the story."
Outside of a small handful, almost every game story is pretty weak and poorly presented.

In your opinion. In my opinion, quite a few games do pretty interesting stories. Interesting enough, at least, to keep my attention the first time through. If the gameplay is decent to go with it, I'll have a good time.

This is why I don't really buy games anymore that have nothing but skirmishes (sins of a solar empire, for example.) They bore me to tears after one or two games.

When I'm out just for story, I read, which I probably do as much as game these days. Books, those have stories. Video games? They have ideas that sort of form into a bit of a story.

Books have stories, yes. That doesn't make them inherently better at them than games, because there are a LOT of really, really shity stories in books.


I think the best vid games strike a balance between gameplay and story. I'm having a blast in BL2 right now which has a good overarching story and interesting characters. It keeps me playing. I have no interest in playing the Telltale BL adventure, and I would have gotten bored ages ago if BL2 had no story. Skyrim and HL2 also balance play with story.

That being said, there are plenty of games though where I just want to get in and play, and the play itself becomes the narrative: a Supreme Commander skirmish, a round in BF2 AIX, or a game of CTF in UT.
 
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53. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 15:11 MacLeod
 
Shineyguy wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 09:36:
[and got some garbage like Ricochet,

Garbage? It's Tron's Deadly Discs man! That's at least worth the load up once.
 
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52. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 15:00 nin
 
NegaDeath wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 14:58:
I think I can take blame for some of that percentage (damn you steam sales). However I've put a nip in that habit...mostly...by stopping before I hit buy and asking myself to mentally picture when I'll actually get around to playing it.

I blame Prez. I mean, he owns the entire catalog, right?

 
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51. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 14:58 NegaDeath
 
I think I can take blame for some of that percentage (damn you steam sales). However I've put a nip in that habit...mostly...by stopping before I hit buy and asking myself to mentally picture when I'll actually get around to playing it.  
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50. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 14:55 jdreyer
 
nin wrote on Apr 16, 2014, 08:43:
Not to worry - this years goal is to hit 39%!


Not 47%?
 
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49. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 14:50 JayDeath
 
I like having a number of games I haven't played in my library. It helps for the slow months of gaming when I'm itching for something new to play.
The digital download trend PC gaming has taken has changed the way I buy games now. Unless it's something I must play right away, I wait for new releases to come down in price a few months later and then I'll buy for a hefty discount. I tend to take my time getting to the games I paid next to nothing for.
 
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48. Re: 37% of Steam Games Never Loaded by Owners Apr 16, 2014, 13:55 StaTik
 
I imagine that there are a ton of Droid/PC Humblebundles that have bought the games for Driod and registered them on Steam just for the hell of it.  
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