GDC yesterday hosted a talk from tinyBuild Games, a company in the paradoxical business of publishing indie games. And goodness me if they didn’t pop some interesting numbers up on their slides. Did you know, for instance, that the most successful Steam games sell 15 times as many copies as those on PlayStation? Well, now you do.
tinyBuild’s Mike Rose told his audience that PC developers fought “more noise” to be heard on Steam. 1,850 of the platform’s 4,500 games were released just last year, and an estimated 2,500 will follow in 2015 - or seven per day. But the developers that do fight are rewarded with uniformly higher sales.
At the very high-end, critically-acclaimed games on Steam can stand to sell as many three million copies, particularly if they belong to a popular genre (open-world survival, take a bow). Even the most exposed PS4 games, meanwhile, can only expect 200,000 sales at the upper limit.
Low-end, poorly rated games tend to shift at similar rates on PC and PS4, according to tinyBuild’s figures - peaking at around 10,000 sales. But mid-tier, well-received games sell up to 100,000 copies on Steam, more than three times as much as the luckiest mid-tier PS4 games - and five times as much as the equivalent games on Xbox One.
Valve reported over 125 million active Steam accounts last week. When did you join up?