GTA 5 And Fallout 4 Still Ruled Steam In 2015, But Indies Had A Good Run

GTA 5 And Fallout 4 Still Ruled Steam In 2015, But Indies Had A Good Run

The final estimates for Steam sales for 2015 are finally in. And while there are a few games at the top of the lists that won’t surprise anyone, it’s warm to see some of the other figures scattered throughout the top 10.

The Steam Spy service offers a pretty exhaustive breakdown of figures and historical data, although some quirks like free weekends, free-to-play games, 24 hour giveaways and the like can occasionally skew figures. And it’s worth remembering that games like War Thunder, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, StarCraft 2, World of Tanks, Minecraft, Star Citizen and other games have large audiences that aren’t tracked through Steam. (Games like Elite: Dangerous also come to mind, where the player base originally began in a separate launcher and some, but not all, have come across.)

But the size of Steam makes it still worth crunching the numbers. It had a good 2015, after all: the amount of concurrent users soared to 12 million-plus, up from approximately 8 million, and the marketplace now hosts over 7000 games from publishers big and small.

Large publishers enjoyed the top two spots on Steam for 2015, according to Sergey Galyonkin’s estimates: GTA 5 and Fallout 4 were loved by millions of users, earning approximately hundreds of millions of dollars for their owners just through Valve’s marketplace alone.

But the top 10 — and remember, this doesn’t include things like Battlefront or StarCraft that go through separate launchers and marketplaces — was also filled out with Early Access titles and surprising indie hits.

ARK: Survival Evolved sitting at number 3 sits perfectly with the Steam market. Gamers on Steam like open-world games, they like survival and they like crafting, and ARK fits all three.

H1Z1 being as high up the list makes sense for the same reasons, and the outrage and void preceding EA’s SimCity a few years ago helps illuminate the demand for Cities: Skylines. Besiege sits above The Witcher 3, but it’s worth remembering many people picked up that game through Good Old Games and GOG Galaxy, so it’s doubtful that the Early Access siege builder has a bigger audience on PC than Geralt’s quest for Ciri.

Going further down, it’s nice to see games like Undertale, Life is Strange, Elite: Dangerous and Darkest Dungeon perform as well as they did. Darkest Dungeon comes out of Early Access this month, too, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it get a second wave of sorts given how thin on the ground January is for new releases.

In the height of AAA season, Fallout 4 ruled the roost, although sales of Rocket League remained healthy throughout and there was even a surprising amount of interest in ArmA 3 despite the lack of a discount.

You can find the rest of the metrics and breakdowns over at Galyonkin’s (the Steam Spy curator) Medium blog.


  • Due to our poor exchange rate and some publishers charging us “Aus Tax”, I only purchased 2 games via Steam this year. Endless Legend (paid about $15) and Kings Quest ep1 (about $1.50). Until Valve charge us in AUD and stop publishers charging us stupid amounts just because we live in Australia, I’ll be spending my money at websites like Green Man Gaming, G2A, OzGameShop, Instant Gaming to name a few.

    • The thing is, if Steam charged is in AUD, the $74.99 GTA V would probably go close to $110.

      Green Man Gaming is also in USD and often charges us local prices anyway, so not really saving that much even when you use their %off codes.

      • Doubt they would do a direct conversion like that.
        They can get away charging that much because $7usd doesn’t look that bad, but if it said $110aud people would nope it.

        • There is zero logical reason for Steam not to advertise in AUD in Australia other than greed. Their main problem would be they would have to redo prices as they fluctuate, exposing the fact they’re screwing Australians on a daily basis.

  • Cities: Skylines seems to be little spoken of for something that achieved spot number six. It’s a pretty good city builder, though not that deep most of the time.

    Besiege is the one that boggles me personally. I received it as a gift and I found while amusing, it’s not something I’d have bought myself nor would I have ever thought it to be something with the appeal to land itself at number seven.

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