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$20 games made most of Steam's record revenues in 2017

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Picture of a $20 bill with Valve's Gabe Newell smiling
Steam's sweet spot

Expanding on the presentation he gave on the Game Developers Conference 2018, SteamSpy's Sergey Galyonkin revealed that it's actually the games priced around $20 that make up for most of Steam's revenue, rather than those priced at $9.99.

It is no secret that the year 2017 was a year to remember for Valve, with all their measurable metrics reporting serious growth. In fact, it has been estimated that Steam revenue for paid game sales stands around $4.3 billion, compared to the measly $3.5 billion in 2016. 

With the gaming market obviously having developed a sweet tooth for cheap games, it has been said that the $9.99 price is beloved by many indie developers, seemingly for a reason. Galyonkin's analysis, however, proves that they might want to rethink the strategy.

SteamSpyPicture of a $20 bill with Valve's Gabe Newell smiling Side by side comparison of SteamSpy's graphs

A breakdown of earned revenue on Steam in 2017 shows that $9.99 games made up for 9.6 per cent, whereas games priced at $19.99 made up for 16.8 per cent of the revenue. Games priced at $29.99 made the most of it however, making up for 25.5 of total revenue earned.

However, looking into total revenues skewers the image somewhat seriously, even more so after removing PUBG, which as you probably know goes for $29.99. As you can see, it turns out that $19.99 games are in fact the sweet spot.

AltCharPicture of a $20 bill with Valve's Gabe Newell smiling PUBG, Steam's 3rd top earner

Interestingly enough, $59.99 games come in close second, proving that price is not detrimental when users look for the ultimate best of gaming. "Surprise: cheap games do not make a lot of money. People are still mostly buying relatively expensive and quality titles", he said.

Nevertheless, the race towards ever cheaper games has long been on and Galyonkin is aware of it. In fact, he compared it to the pre-iOS 11 App Store, saying that "the race to zero is on."

Pricing dilemma aside though, 2017 has been a pretty good year in terms of the amount of games on Steam, with 7,696 titles having launched in that period. Well, long may it continue, regardless of the price.