Information inadvertently made available by Valve has allowed users to figure out which games on Steam are the most popular.
For many of us, our one and only platform for the majority of our gaming has been via consoles. The battle between SEGA and Nintendo, the introduction of PlayStation and then Xbox. We have our favorites and it's how we game. As heated a rivalry as there is between PlayStation and Xbox users in the present day, however, there is a more hostile divide between console and PC gamers.
If you use a PC to game, then you likely use Steam to gain access to those games. The platform, which is the brainchild of Valve, effectively has a monopoly on PC gaming. In fact, as of 2013, it made up for around 75% of the marketplace and that proportion has likely increased in the past five years. Steam has 150 million registered accounts, and recently we got a glimpse into what some of those active users like to play most.
As reported by Ars, an accidental leak by Valve revealed the percentage of players who have accomplished developer-defined achievements. The kind of thing you get with most games nowadays with a little message that pops up informing you of the achievement. With those numbers, gamers savvier than us have been able to reverse engineer the figures to discover how many players are actively playing thousands of different games on Steam.
While the numbers mean that only games with achievements to, well, achieve can be included in the breakdown, that still incorporates around 13,000 of the 23,000 games currently available on Steam. The table, which you can find in its entirety here, includes all unique players, meaning they must have played the game at least once. Team Fortress 2 is estimated to have over 50 million players on Steam, Counter Strike: Global Offensive comes in second with 46.3 million, and the popular PUBG rounds out the top three with 36.6 million users.
The leak from Valve has since been plugged, as you can imagine, but the damage has already been done. Those who wanted the numbers have them and have converted them into what are likely pretty accurate estimates of who is playing what on Steam. Judging by these numbers, it is going to take a pretty big game to knock Team Fortress 2 off the top spot.