80% of Steam games are ‘barely making any money’

80% of Steam games are ‘barely making any money’

11th September 2019 0 By Jordan Heal

While the game distribution platform Steam is a household name for any gamer, the majority of games on it are “barely making any money at all”.

The surprising statistics have been revealed by Mike Rose from No More Robots.

Rose has been analysing Steam sales data from the last month and discovered that the average game on the platform is only selling 1,500 copies, making a meagre average of $16,000 during its first year on sale.

He reveals that the median value is $16,000 whereas the mean is $46,000. He also notes that year-on-year there appears to be a 47% decrease.

His data also excludes any game that did not achieve 10+ user reviews and AAA titles. The exclusion of AAA titles, he notes, is because it is not particularly useful knowing how well Wolfenstein sold.

He also removed the top and bottom 5% (ranked by revenue generated) to reduce noise from outliers.

Rose has only analysed the top 20% of games on Steam because the bottom 80% are “barely making any money at all”.

“If I had included all games released on Steam, these numbers would have been waaay more terrifying,” Rose tweeted.

He claimed the average $15 game makes an average of $35,000 during its first year on sale while the average $25 makes $200,000.

His main conclusion from the analysis was that developers were listing their games for too low a price and that by marking them up more, the return will be greater.

Rose’s final note is that if you see a developer taking an Epic Exclusive deal, leave them alone.

“Look at the sales numbers above, then genuinely tell me you wouldn’t take a deal over running this gauntlet. Taking an Epic deal secures your future, so get off your high horses!” he finishes.

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