Thousands of Steam games have now had their total player counts released, after a hole in Valve's API was discovered that allowed access to the much-wanted data. Although previous third-party tools had proved useful when it came to seeing just how popular a game was, this leak gives a much closer picture on how games are doing in terms of popularity.
It marks another step in what has been something of a tumultuous year for Steam, including the big news that Valve is finally going to start developing games again alongside slightly less positive news such as Valve stepping away from any kind of game regulation on Steam as a whole. This most recent leak may prove to be something of an embarrassment, but nonetheless it's one that has provided plenty of interesting data for those after a better look at the state of Steam at the minute.
Valve was quick to act when the hole was discovered, but not before a very precise estimate of player counts as of July 1 could be created. The calculation method for generating these estimates is a little on the complex side, but effectively the leak uses the Achievement data to formulate player counts. So, any game that includes Achievements is included in the figures, and anyone who has played the game at least once is counted.
The top few games may not come as much of a surprise to those who frequent Steam regularly. In first place comes Team Fortress 2 with a player estimate of over 50 million, while Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's item trading controversy is not enough to keep it from the second place slot with over 46 million. In third place comes PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, with those 8 million Xbox One players dwarfed by its 36 million Steam players.
That's far from the full list, however, with over 13,000 Steam games listed in the release. The figures range from the tens of millions through to single digits, and those after the full list can find it thanks to Ars Technica. However, some other big names near the top of the table are Left 4 Dead 2, Warframe (which is now also coming to Nintendo Switch), and Skyrim.
It certainly makes interesting reading for those who spend a lot of time on Steam, and some of these player counts are truly mind-boggling. All in all, the dominance of various Valve releases at near the top of the list reveals just how popular the company's games have been on the platform it created, as well as showing how quickly free-to-play games like Unturned and Warframe can gain a following. Nonetheless, Valve will want to make sure that a similar hole doesn't appear any time soon.
Source: Ars Technica
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