Report: Steam Direct sees releases double, but average sales and revenue dip

Report: Steam Direct sees releases double, but average sales and revenue dip

New data from third-party research firm Steam Spy gives us an insight into how Steam Direct has affected developers.

The information – that comes with a number of caveats that are important to comprehending the data (PLEASE READ THIS) – reveals that 1,107 new games launched on Steam between June and August 2017. 

That has almost doubled year-on-year; 685 new games were released in the same period in 2016, while 2015 saw 450 games.

Sales have also risen 49 per cent between 2015 and 2017, rising to 2.9m in 2017. However, the mean average sales from the first month has dipped; in 2017 this came in at 2,583 units, while the year before this was 3,266 copies. Median sales, too, fell to 155 from 249 year-on-year.

However, total revenue has risen, hitting $28m, an increase of 25 per cent since 2015. But mean average revenue has fallen to just $25,353.

So what can we take away from this information?

Essentially, the number of new releases has obviously shot up, as has the total amount of revenue being made by them. But the amount of money per developer has dipped, as has the average number of games being sold.

This might be in part due to the fact that both of mean average and median prices have fallen.

These numbers – as with all Steam Spy data – should be taken with a pinch of salt. By the site's own admission, the research it publishes is far from complete and thus not entirely accurate. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.