Steam Spy is pretty damn useful in an industry that generally frowns upon sharing sales information. In a series of tweets Steam Spy’s owner revealed some numbers comparing April 2015 to April 2016 in hopes of revealing any major differences. While one year is barely an economic trend and certainly doesn’t reflect the larger market, the numbers do tell an interesting story. If your game is on top, you’re fine. Below that and you should be worried.
So tracking median and average is pretty much useless now, as only top games sell well.
The rest is just, well, sits there.
— Steam Spy (@Steam_Spy) April 26, 2016
Steam’s store has more indie games than it did one year ago, and the average indie game has less owners but is probably cheaper. The average indie game was selling around 5400 copies in 2015, now that’s only 2,800. That’s unless you make it into the top ten. The more an indie game sells, the better chance it has of selling. Essentially you wanna be popular so you can stay popular. It’s like high school.
Bigger games have seen the same effect, just less pronounced, while games in early access are making more money, selling more, and are cheaper. Generally it seems that the money is still there, but there are many, many more games. Sales don’t magically increase because there is more product to sell. Maybe, just maybe, we’re getting close to the day where Steam begins to curate their store.