Gamers using Steam never play 37pc of their downloaded games

16 Apr 2014

New research looking at the purchasing habits of gamers downloading games through content-provider Steam has found 37pc of a person’s downloaded games are left untouched.

Ars Technica conducted the research by using public information contained in the Steam platform, developed by Valve Software, charting what games are the most downloaded, which made the most money and, in this case, what games weren’t being played at all.

The platform acts as an online store for thousands of games and is one of the largest markets available for games, with at least 781m games registered to Steam accounts globally.

One aspect of its popularity is the regular sales they hold seasonally that can see a game’s price drop by up to 90pc for a limited period, thereby encouraging gamers to make bulk purchases at the thought of getting a good deal.

However, Ars Technica’s findings of 37pc of games left untouched suggest the opposite may be the case.

Many of the games that dominate Steam’s most-downloaded statistics come from Valve itself, creator of the legendary Half-Life series.

From their findings, just under 26m copies of the free-to-play (F2P) Defence of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2) have been sold on the platform, making it the most downloaded game on Steam, followed by Team Fortress 2, with just over 20m downloads, both of which are Valve-designed games.

In terms of playing time in hours per registered game, the unplayed 37pc of games makes up the largest percentage, with the next-largest clocking in between one and 10 hours, making up 24.6pc.

The die-hard gamers who play games for more than a staggering 459 hours or more only make up 1pc.

The findings also show that from the 781m games registered to Steam users, only 493m, the equivalent of 63pc, have only been played once.

A breakdown of the amount of time spent playing games through Steam

A breakdown of the amount of time spent playing games through Steam: Ars Technica

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic