Unsurprisingly, Valve’s own titles still reign on their digital platform Steam, but notably none of the top five most-played games of 2016 by average player count were released last year.
Four out of the five games sitting at the top of Steam by average player count per hour were there last year as well. Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, and Grand Theft Auto V were at #1, #2, #4, and #5 respectively in 2015. Only Fallout 4 was replaced, which fell from its #3 spot in 2015 and was replaced by Sid Meier’s Civilization V.
Dota 2 / 636,607 avg. players per hour (#1 in 2015)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 360,600 avg. players per hour (#2 in 2015)
Team Fortress 2 / 50,802 avg. players per hour (#4 in 2015)
Grand Theft Auto V / 40,258 avg. players per hour (#5 in 2015)
Sid Meier’s Civilization V / 37,885 avg players per hour (#9 in 2015)
According to GitHyp’s report, the devastating disappointment that was No Man’s Sky had the highest number of simultaneous players for new releases in 2016, reaching 212,000 simultaneous players in an hour. It didn’t last. XCOM 2 and Dark Souls III may not have peaked anywhere near Hello Games’ disasterpiece, but they still managed robust concurrent player counts within their release windows. However, they didn’t make it into the top five for games with the highest average player count for the year.
Not everyone fared so well. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare experienced a devastating 76% drop from 2015’s Black Ops III peak player count of 63,681, managing only 15,280 concurrent players at any point. The awkwardly hipster Watch Dogs 2 attracted no more than 39% of the players that purchased the original at launch as well.
Hi-Rez Studio’s dark horse hero shooter Paladins that was a surprising winner in 2016, averaging more than 22,000 players per hour on Steam alone. Despite people incorrectly attempting to frame it as a clone of Blizzard’s Overwatch, it’s gained more overall traction than any other game released on Steam in 2016. Not a bad haul for the innovative independent studio behind multiplayer experiences like Global Agenda, Tribes, and SMITE.
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