Steam Game Profits Nearly Nonexistent for 80% of Titles, Says New Study

A new study conducted by Mike Rose of No More Robots has learned that around 80% of Steam games are barely making a profit since they arrived on the platform. According to a month-long study, Steam game profits make a relatively meager amount on the service, and there’s even a 47% year-over-year decrease.

Steam is a household name for any gamer these days, having completely replaced the PC’s physical gaming market and serving as the dominant PC gaming client. Its catalogue holds hundreds of thousands of games, and its yearly sales are major events to the PC gaming crowd.

However, if you’re not a game from a big company with a name for itself, you might find yourself hard-pressed to really make an impact on Steam. Mike Rose’s study on Steam game profits discovered that the average game was only selling around 1,500 units, amounting to roughly $16,000.

In order to conduct this study, Rose took out a large number of outlying games. Those that did not receive 10+ user reviews, those that were Triple-A titles, and the games in the top and bottom 5 percent of games that were on Steam in terms of earnings, giving him a good group to work with.

It’s already been known that Steam has a rather stringent protocol for even getting your game onto the service. A high entry fee to get onto the service and Steam taking a bit cut of the profits are likely one of the multiple reasons why Steam game profits are so low.

This puts other stores like the Epic Games Store into more perspective, as the Epic Store allows developers to keep a much larger portion of their profits, making it a more attractive venue for people to sell their games from.

Many developers have even said that they allow their games to be sold on Epic so that even if the game flops, they can still break even because of what Epic pays to have their games exclusively. But, either way, game development is a risky business, and even if you’ve put a lot of passion into a game, there’s no telling that it will be a smash hit and make bank for you.