36% of All Games Owned on Steam Are Never Played

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36% of All Games Owned on Steam Are Never Played

VGX Steam Sale

There's a sizable chunk of most player's Steam libraries that has never even been installed.

We're all guilty of the "pile of shame," that is, a pile of games that we start playing, but then get distracted by the next shiny toy before actually completing them, but according to an Ars Technica Steam database dig, there's a sizable chunk of games in most players libraries that have never even been played. According to the research, approximately 36% of all games registered in players libraries have never been played.

17% of games are played for less than one hour, and 24% are played for between one and ten hours. To be fair, the biggest offender on the "owned and never played" list is Half-Life 2: Lost Coast which is more of a tech demo than a game, and is included free with every purchase of Half-Life 2. Of the 12 million players who own Lost Coast, only 2 million have bothered to boot it up.

In fact, the highest non-Valve game on the list is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, in which 300,000 of it's 5.7 million owners have never played it.

Ars Technica used a random sample of the approximately 172 million publicly accessible Steam profile pages to generate this information, scraping data from up to 90,000 profiles per day for "about two months".

Some of the other information it gathered tells us stuff that we already should know - DoTA 2 and Team Fortress 2 are the most-played games on Steam by a considerable margin, and that Call of Duty players spend a lot more time in the game's multiplayer mode than its singleplayer mode.

It makes for a very interesting read, that's for sure, and the site has put together all sorts of cool statistics.

Source: Ars Technica

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Remember kids, Steam Sales are not your friend.

Gotta catch em all, right?

Looking at my steam library, around 100 of the 280 games have never been installed.

The main offenders probably being the humble-bundle games. When you buy a 1 dollar bundle because you want 1 game, there's going to be 5 games just gathering dust in the library.

Still, a very interesting (possibly disturbing) trend.

Also, on my profile all of the Borderlands DLC are listed as games, which becomes another 6 "games" where only one is played.

The only real news here was that people are buying skyrim and never even playing it. ITS A GOOD GAME PEOPLE!

I'm guilty of this, I have a ton of games(feel free to look me up to see how guilty) but in my defense, a massive amount of those came from bundles where i wanted one of the games and it was cheaper than buying it individually. Then again I'm also obsessive compulsive so thats could be a factor too :P

AntiChri5:
Remember kids, Steam Sales are not your friend.

Yeah, fucking steam sales! Giving us games we want for cheap prices! Goddamn, they're screwing us all ov- wait, hang on....

Under_your_bed:

AntiChri5:
Remember kids, Steam Sales are not your friend.

Yeah, fucking steam sales! Giving us games we want for cheap prices! Goddamn, they're screwing us all ov- wait, hang on....

Didn't say they were screwing us over, just that they aren't your friend. It's an important difference. A lot of people have bought a lot of games that they will never get around to playing and would not have bought if Steam didn't offer them for an absurdly good price.

Steam gets a lot of love, but they are still a business. They wouldn't do these sales if they didn't profit from them. That's how they do. For every person who gets a game they would have bought otherwise real cheap, there are another one or two who never would have bought it.

Wow, that is a very surprising statistic. I had no idea that is was that low 8D.

All joking aside, yeah, that sounds about right. I blame the summer sale and the humble bundle. Aw well, I'll get around to playing them SOMEDAY! At the very least I want to get through some of them over summer break.

Most - or all - of the games I own and never played are those that are part of a bundle and probably not the game from the bundle I cared about.

Bindal:
Most - or all - of the games I own and never played are those that are part of a bundle and probably not the game from the bundle I cared about.

Same here. It's often cheaper to buy the bundle than the game I actually want. Though, nowadays I'll often browse my Steam, GOG or Humble Bundle library rather than the store, if I'm looking for something new to play.

Some of those are from bundles, sure, but I've played some of the games I "have never installed" according to my Steam acc. Those are throwback to my life as a scallywag of the digital seas (I'm clean now, been of the Bay for years and the Steam rehab center is also responsible :P ), buying games I already finished but never payed for. That's why I don't feel like playing them again, though I occasionally go back to some older gems.

AntiChri5:
Remember kids, Steam Sales are not your friend.

It's bundle sales that have done it for me.

There are games from both the EA and THQ humble bundle that I've never touched, in some cases because I'd played them elsewhere (Dead Space) or because I wasn't overly interested (one of the Company of Heroes expansions).

Then there's the Valve Complete Pack I bought and never touched the Half Life 1 stuff because I'd played them all about twelve times anyway, so another five games never played. It's the side effect of buying multiple titles cheap, nevermind.

I blame World of Tanks :( it's devouring all my spare time but I want every tank!

I can totally see that. I keep putting off The Longest Journey, which means it and Dreamfall remain in my backlog. When I got the X-Series bundle, it was made pretty clear to me that Albion Prelude is the easiest to start with. Of course, I couldn't even figure out that one, so there's no way I'm getting into the other five...

Then there's all those "Ooh! I loved this game as a kid! And it's only a dollar!" purchases that then collected virtual dust.

Well i have about 10 games that appear as duplicates thanks to their Mac OS version. Quite a few of my games have had the time re-set on them simply because i played them so long ago. I'm not sure if it is a quirk with steam's systems but I've been on steam for a good number of years and at least 20 of the games I've played to death in the past have only one or two hours displayed on them.

I'd say about 50% of my steam library is made up of games i got free, duplicate games or obsolete versions (i.e. a version of a game and then a version with the expansion pack thus it being redundant) or extra content listed as seperate games.

I'd say this is more a problem with how Steam lists games and stores playtime statistics than it is an issue with games not being played.

Edit; there are also the games that I've played outside of steam that for one reason or another the game's CD key now allows me to register a steam version. Former GFWL games are like this and some others too. Some games I've got from humble are also like this; I'll buy the bundle for pennies and register it to steam but I've already played some of the games before outside of steam.

And this is why steam sales work, customers are happy because they can buy tons of games cheap, and publishers are happy because customers are buying games they would not have bought otherwise.

Not surprising at all. What with the cheap sales and all. I have about 10 - 15 games on steam I haven't played........yet. I intend to but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Well when ya buy a bundle that includes every single game ever made by Bethesda and id for $100, or a huge Humble Bundle for $10, of course there's gonna be fluff in there that you don't actually want.

Good part of my not played game are mostly the game are cared less about in a Humble Bundle, but that I still registered on steam and the rest are thing that came in bundle deal on steam itself, either as a bonus game that came along a new release or sale bundle that were just cheaper to purchase the whole package then simply get what I wanted.

Honestly I find this a bit misleading at least for my personal statistics. I've had a steam account for over 9 years dating back to early 2005. Given that steam didn't start tracking gametime until mid-2009, that is roughly 4.5 years of gameplay just completely unaccounted for. With several hundred games on my account ~20% of those don't actually have gametime accounted on them because I played them before steam even had time tracking. Games like counter-srtike that should have 100's of hours sit at 0 because I've moved on to other games and haven't gone back since. Plus there are the games like Doom and Quake that I play for an hour or two here and there that don't record gametime at all. That said I have quite a few games I have yet to play, but that number probably comes in much closer to 10% of my library.

I realize that I've had an account waaaaay longer than the average user but I still think that it's worth mentioning that that feature wasn't even introduced until over halfway through Steam's current lifecycle.

I'm sure mine is close to 50%, but that is mostly due to me buying packs of games say I want 2 games in some sort of bundle of 5, where I can get the 5 for less then buying 2 separately, hence I buy the bundle. In any case I'm still good with having a vast library I can tap when I'm out of games to play.

this statistics are only valid for newer releases as the game play time logging has been introduced like 2 or 3 years ago. There are some games on my steam profile that i finished ages ago and do not plan on replaying them that would be included in never played category in the survey.

WOrld of tanks and study stops me :P
And STALKER.

Looking at my gallery, the games I've spent less than a few hours on are either stuff I got in a bundle...or they were just plain TERRIBLE.

if i hardly play a game its because its bad. some of the games i havent finished either because its either boring or just bad.

snekadid:
The only real news here was that people are buying skyrim and never even playing it. ITS A GOOD GAME PEOPLE!

I have it, never played it. The biggest issue is that it's a really big game and my free time is rather limited right now. Someday, when I get a big chunk of free time to play with. In the meantime, I've been working through the pile of shorter games on my list.

I got untouched games like Left 4 Dead 2 Beta, DOTA2 Test lying around and a few Steam duplicates of non-Steam games I already installed and played a lot (like TES III and IV). So there goes the statistics.

Guilty of this. I'm making progress, mostly by playing the shorter games so I can actually finish them and move onto the next. If I had more free time(more then 1 hour per work day to play), I'd play some of the longer games or get more done.

Maybe I'll get lucky and be unemployed for a year and then can do nothing but look for a new job, go to school and clear out my games backlog.

Guilty of this.

I rarely buy games and never play them.

But, frequently, I'll get bundles which include games I've no desire to entertain.

softclocks:
Looking at my steam library, around 100 of the 280 games have never been installed.

The main offenders probably being the humble-bundle games. When you buy a 1 dollar bundle because you want 1 game, there's going to be 5 games just gathering dust in the library.

Still, a very interesting (possibly disturbing) trend.

Also, on my profile all of the Borderlands DLC are listed as games, which becomes another 6 "games" where only one is played.

Ditto on that. Most of my games came from humble bundle and I probably haven't played 50% of them. Probably because a lot of them I wanted a decent controller for and just got a ps3 plus i had a crappy laptop that couldnt really handle the decent ones. Now that I have both a gaming pc and ps3 that number might drop to around the average 30%.....eventually

Yeah, I blame bundles here. 6 dollars for like 10 games, two of which I've always wanted to try but couldn't cop out the release price of like 40-60 bucks to get, the rest of which I'm really not interested in. It tends to pile up.

I imagine the Hundle Bundle has influenced that list a LOT.

Far too often, when I pick up a Bundle on the cheap, it comes with 1-3 other games I didn't really have much interest in at the time. (I try to gift the spares to friends and family)

AntiChri5:
Remember kids, Steam Sales are not your friend.

They're not your enemy either.

softclocks:
Looking at my steam library, around 100 of the 280 games have never been installed.

The main offenders probably being the humble-bundle games. When you buy a 1 dollar bundle because you want 1 game, there's going to be 5 games just gathering dust in the library.

Still, a very interesting (possibly disturbing) trend.

Also, on my profile all of the Borderlands DLC are listed as games, which becomes another 6 "games" where only one is played.

I agree with there might be areas that the automated process of this could be considered getting false information. I also wonder how many of those could be DLC or expansions.

For me my non-played category for Steam is very low if you don't count the games that were part of bundles, I think out of almost two hundred games I have less then ten I have never played and most of those are recent purchases that I have to make sure there is data left on my monthly bandwidth allotment.

the problem with this is announcement is that it doesnt take into account game:
-i bought and didnt like after a few minutes of game play
-games i bought because they were objectives in steam sales to get a badge or achievement
-games i had no intention of playing but bought to support a designer that i liked(the witcher, witcher 2, ect)
-games i had no intention of playing but bought to entice foreign publisher to release game i do want(ys 1, ys2, ect)
-that were part of bundles
-series games i havent played yet because i havent beat the first game yet

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