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Steam's Most Played Games of 2016

The Most Played Games of 2015 Hold On to the Top Spots in 2016

January 7, 2017 by

2016 was another great year for games, but it was also a year filled with the the rise and fall of many new games that over-promised and under-delivered.

As a result, Steam’s list of most played games in 2016 ended up looking almost the exact same as it did in 2015. Last year’s top titles held their spots as newcomers who started off strong quickly lost their player bases by the end of the year.

Looking at new releases on Steam in 2016 tracked hourly by GitHyp, the highly hyped and highly controversial, No Man’s Sky, had the highest peak player count with 212k concurrent players in a single hour.

  1. Dota 2 / 1,286,617 peak players (#1 in 2015)
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 845,806 peak players (#2 in 2015)
  3. No Man’s Sky / 212,321 peak players (new)
  4. XCOM 2 / 132,834 peak players (new)
  5. Dark Souls III / 129,922 peak players (new)

Other newcomers such as XCOM 2 (132k players) and Dark Souls III (129k players) also had great launches, but only peaked at half of NMS‘ record-setting number to round out the top 5.

While No Man’s Sky, XCOM 2, Dark Souls III, and others such as Tom Clancy’s The Division and Total War: Warhammer all had strong launches, none were able to hold their ground and each had huge drops in players that made headlines.

Other previous heavy-hitters also made headlines due to under-performing launches such as Call of Duty which was down 76% from last year and Watch Dogs 2 which dropped 61% since the last entry in the series.

When looking at the more stable average players per hour metric, 2016 ended the same as 2015 with the exception of Fallout 4 — which didn’t just fall out of the top 5, but also the top 10 at #12.

  1. Dota 2 / 636,607 avg. players per hour (#1 in 2015)
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 360,600 avg. players per hour (#2 in 2015)
  3. Team Fortress 2 / 50,802 avg. players per hour (#4 in 2015)
  4. Grand Theft Auto V / 40,258 avg. players per hour (#5 in 2015)
  5. Sid Meier’s Civilization V / 37,885 avg players per hour (#9 in 2015)

Dark Souls III dropped to #21 on Steam with an average of 14,186 players per hour. No Man’s Sky dropped all the way down to #41 on Steam with an average of 8,393 players per hour. And XCOM 2 barely made the top 50 coming it at #44 with an average of 7,815 players per hour.

When looking at the average players per hour, it was actually the free-to-play team-based shooter, Paladins, that ended as 2016’s strongest new release ranking in at #15 on Steam with an average of 22,809 players per hour.

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