Steam Stats: 36% of Registered Games Unplayed

Between holiday sales and game bundles, it's too easy to shell out money for a ludicrous number of games and forget about half of them. Many a Steam user's library may boast hundreds of games, but it's likely that most of these titles are untouched. 

According to data collected by Ars Technica from 172 million Steam profile pages (collected from 80-90K users a day for months), about 36 percent of registered Steam games are left untouched.  

There's also plenty of other interesting figures to glean from the data. Unsurprisingly, the two most owned games on Steam are free-to-play ones with DotA 2 at 25.93 million and Team Fortress 2 at 20 million. The next most owned game is apparently Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, though Ars estimates that the game might be loaded up on many Steam user's computers and left untouched. 

What about the most played game on Steam in terms of hours dedicated per user? Surprisingly, it isn't Call of Duty, Dota 2 or Skyrim, but Football Manager. Owners have clocked in, on average, over 100 hours into the game. Apparently, when the addiction sets in for Football Manager, it really sets in... 

The biggest takeaways from Ars Technica's data is in terms of sales. According to Ars's numbers, it's worthwhile for publishers to chase big hits for their portfolio. Steam is very, very hit-driven, and the year's biggest titles are the ones that "represent 83.1 percent of all sales and 87.7 percent of all played games." In terms of total hours, the top 20 percent of games represent about 98 percent of Steam's overall play times. 

  • ddpruitt
    I have a whole bunch of Steam games I haven't touched. But that's because I wait for them to go on sale in bundles and then buy the bundles. Some of them have games I'm not interested in so they don't get played. There are very few games on Steam that I've paid full price for, Steam sales can be really spectacular.
  • infernocy
    well bundles offer many games together and usually the person buys them for like 3 or 4 games only , and plays only those 3 -4 , i dont really find this hard to believe , most people are interested in multiplayer team play so most single player games in steam are left with out a touch . , they use steam as a platform to come together with friends and play specific games .
  • pilsner
    Well, I can confirm this. I just checked my Steam library, and I have 16 games in the list which I never played or even installed. They all came with bundles, which I most often bought because of only one or two games (unlike Mr. Comment above, it's most often a single player game which I wanted, and the multiplayer shooters rot in the Steam library :-) )
  • wanderer11
    Most often in a Humble Bundle there are more games I don't want than those I do so I buy 5 or 6 games and only play 1 or 2.
  • redgarl
    Well, I still have a pile of video games I need to go through. I might end up selling 20% of them since I don't have time. Totally normal when you see something at 10$.
  • theje
    I'm actually on a campaign right now to play through my whole Steam library in my Theje's Catalog series.
  • Evolution2001
    Yep, pretty much what everyone else is saying... I will get a collection of games dirt cheap from something like Humble Bundle. Maybe someday I'll go and play 'em, but maybe not. I really do it more for the charitable part of it more than the probability of me ever playing them. It's the same thing with my account on Origin, as many of the games are on both platforms.
  • Avus
    This is the beauty of the frequent Steam/gamefly/greenmangaming/gog discount sales. M$ (Xbox) should learn from that... People always said console gaming is much cheaper than PC gaming, but it is actually not that true. Yes, PC hardware are more expensive than console. So the initial cost is higher. But the $$ you saved from games will off set the more expensive PC hardware cost very soon. Unless you are stupid enough to only buy PC games at launch. Of course console game also have discounts, but the discount % and frequency are not as high as PC games.

    And "Gaming PC need to upgrade every .5/1/2 years are just myth. People said that usually know shit about computers.
  • genz
    Well Steam Sales I think are probably the only reason I still game. When your budget goes through the floor you tend to stop spending money on luxuries, and through steam sales I'm still able to buy a game every now and then.

    If it wasn't for that, I'd be a non-gamer, gamer that only played old games, or a pirate, god forbid.
  • Bondfc11
    I think I have created an artificial jump in the Civ V numbers on my own - at 286 hours on that darn game!