The Steam Top 100 page is no more. The old utilitarian list of Steam’s most popular games by concurrent players has been replaced with a deeper and more attractive set of rankings (opens in a new tab). You can still see which games are played by the most people, but now you can also sort games by their daily unique player count and by how much money they make.
The new Steam statistics page is called “Steam Charts”, which may cause some confusion, as there is already a useful site called Steam Charts (www.steamcharts.com (opens in a new tab)) which uses the Steam API to provide more extensive concurrent player data than Steam itself displays. Steam Charts is still a useful site – I use it all the time – but it will be harder to distinguish from Valve’s official stats page in Google search results. C’est la vie!
The most notable addition to Steam’s new Steam Charts page is the list of best-selling games. Valve has been sharing monthly sales charts for a while now, but with these weekly charts, the journey to the Billboard Hot 100 (opens in a new tab) the territory is finally finished. Like the famous song ranking, Steam’s top seller charts show how many places a game has moved up or down since the previous week’s chart. It’s easy to imagine talking about a “top game” or a game that “topped the Steam chart for four weeks” – a more modern version of the old NPD game sales reports that go around every time console warriors buzz about exclusives.
The top seller chart is based on all revenue earned through Steam, not just units sold, so free games are included (assuming they make a lot of money through DLC or in-game transactions). Apex Legends, for example, is third on the list right now. Cyberpunk 2077 is fourth on the list, which tells us that the wave of gamers that followed the release of the Netflix anime aren’t just people returning to the game; people buy it. And of course we’re happy to see Trombone Champ slide in at #12.
Steam already had a top sellers list long before this – it’s a category on the front of the store – but the presentation of these new lists and the fact that they’re archived every week could multiply their power. Fixing player count is already a popular pastime for PC gaming, and I can’t imagine this new Billboard style chart will go untapped by people trying to prove that one game is better, deadlier, or more profit-driven than another.
And a little note about the existing top seller list: It seems to have used a different ranking system. In a new blog post (opens in a new tab)Valve said the top seller store category will begin using the “new method for calculating revenue” developed for these Steam Charts reports.
Another small but interesting change is the new option to sort the list of concurrent players by “daily players”. Instead of ranking Steam games by the number of people playing them right now, the daily player setting ranks games based on the total number of unique players in the last 24 hours, Valve says.
That changes the picture considerably. Games that are more popular in different time zones than my own, like PUBG, jump up in more places when I switch to the daily player view. Grand Theft Auto 5 and Cyberpunk 2077 also jump up the list. Meanwhile, Team Fortress 2 falls 19 places when I look at daily uniques instead of concurrents – meaning that many instances of TF2 are running at the same time, but more people are playing Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel every day. I’ll refrain from jumping to unsupported conclusions, but it’s certainly a strange statistic.