Steam reveals its best selling games of 2016, with No Man’s Sky reaching the highest tier and beating out many of the year’s other top titles, despite its challenges.
As we enter the New Year, it’s fun to look back and think about our favorite games of the past year, and reminisce on the entertainment and enjoyment that accompanied those games. It’s also useful to consider the games that were most disappointing, especially those that garnered massive hype, only to let players down in a big way.
Interestingly, games from both ends of the spectrum in terms of quality and reception can find massive financial success. This is perfectly displayed in Steam’s best selling games list of 2016. Over on Steam’s Top 100 Best Sellers of 2016, players will see some of the year’s biggest titles, including Rocket League, Tom Clancy’s The Division, No Man’s Sky, DOOM, and many others.
One game that stands out due to its placement on the list is No Man’s Sky. The space exploration title was one of the most highly-anticipated titles for years while gamers anxiously awaited the game’s release. Unfortunately, No Man’s Sky became one of the most disappointing games in recent history, sparking a massive rush for refund requests and leading the game to receive an “Overwhelmingly Negative” status on Steam.
Yet despite its failings, it seems No Man’s Sky is still a commercial success for developer Hello Games, at least according to Steam’s list of best sellers. That said, many gamers will look to No Man’s Sky as a clear example for an argument against pre-ordering video games. All the hype and excitement around the game helped drive incredible pre-order and first-day sales, which is likely how the game made the “Platinum” level of best sellers on Steam.
Once players got a chance to try the game and discover it was severely lacking many features that were touted for the space sim, sales plummeted, and haven’t recovered. So while No Man’s Sky made strong initial sales, its shortcomings will undoubtedly affect any future sales, as well as upcoming titles from Hello Games.
Interestingly, many of the year’s hottest titles don’t rank very high on Steam’s best sellers list. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare barely scraped its way into the Bronze class, despite its position as a top selling game in November and December. Watch Dogs 2, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Skyrim all made the Silver class, while DOOM and Stardew Valley both achieved Gold. Rocket League broke into the Platinum tier alongside No Man’s Sky.
The Division also reached the Platinum tier, despite its own challenges after launch. While the Ubisoft title experienced a boost toward the end of the year thanks to some much-needed updates and the release of a well-received expansion, it suffered months of player hemorrhaging over the summer, and currently sits at a “Mixed” position with player reviews on Steam.
It’ll be interesting to see how well this year’s lineup of games perform, especially 2017’s most highly-anticipated titles. Will players continue to pre-order, instead of wait to receive game reviews, or will they blindly move forward based on hype and marketing?
No Man’s Sky is currently available for PC and PlayStation 4.