In brief: There have been some amazing and popular games on Steam, but the platform’s most-played titles have barely changed since 2015. A new animation, which charts the daily player count of Steam games over the last four years, illustrates the lasting appeal of some titles.
The animation's timeline begins on January 1, 2015, and ends on December 31, 2018. It originally appeared as a five-minute video on TheRankings’ YouTube channel, and has been turned into a minute-long gfycat gif by user TheKarmaFiend.
It might not come as a surprise to see DOTA 2 in the number one spot for much of the time, with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in second place. This was the case up until August 2017, at which point PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which arrived in Early Access during March that year, shot to the top spot.
Some other games that move around the top 15 over the years include older titles such as Team Fortress 2, GTA V, and Garry’s Mod. Rocket League, Warframe, and ARK: Survival Evolved have also proved continually popular since being released.
Former PC Gamer journalist turned game creator Tom Francis shared the chart on Twitter.
Incredible visualisation of the most played games on Steam, 2015-2018.https://t.co/6MwcIllbwY— Tom Francis (@Pentadact) 3 March 2019
Fascinating even before The Event.
Interestingly, DOTA 2’s player numbers started increasing near the end of 2018, though PUBG stopped it from regaining the top spot. Looking at today’s player count, however, shows the MOBA is back in the number one position, with a peak of over one million players in the last 24 hours. PUBG’s most recent peak, meanwhile, is 855,382—could the likes of Apex Legends and Fortnite be eroding its player base?