I always find it irritating when such lists totally ignore the many fine adventure games of Daedalic.
OTOH, I do get some satisfaction from the fact that their newer, non-point-n-click style games have worse numbers than the more traditional ones. (Obviously, they haven’t been out for too long yet).
Anyway, here’s the data:
The Whispered World Special Edition
Edna & Harvey: The Breakout
Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes
A New Beginning - Final Cut
Chains of Satinav
Chaos on Deponia
The Pillars of the Earth
Deponia seems to be a bit of an outlier. Did they give that away for free at some point in time?
It’s also worth noting that quite a few of those games were sold DRM-free on DVD, back then when that was still a thing. So the numbers are likely not indicative of overall sales. The exception to that is Chains of Satinav, which always required Steam, even for its physical copy.
In the same order (as you list suggests) I would recommend to play the Daedalic games.
Yes and no: Especially in Germany they had the DRM-free DVD version. Beside that the Deponia series was sold together with several magazines (yes, we have still the printed ones ) and it was part of several game bundles (for example Humble Bundles). Plus: Deponia was the most popular adventure game from Daedalic in Germany - it was featured in several TV shows.
Remember these numbers are terribly skewed for games that have been on sale (sometimes in deep discount). Also games that were part of Humble Bundles where the play quickly booted it but never played it. Don’t read too much into these numbers. TWP has been massively successful on Switch and I have no doubt that is cannibalize Steam to some extent. By next month we will have sold more on Switch than Steam and Switch shows little signs of letting up.
I thought the methodology behind those numbers required players to unlock at least one achievement. If booting up a game counts as achievement these days, I no longer need to wonder how the current state of the world comes about …
But yeah, the numbers should be taken with a lump of salt. OTOH, they give a rare insight into an otherwise pretty black box.
Most games have a “givme” achievement. Often this is done for the exact reason of being able to see how many people started the game but didn’t get to the first “real” achievement. Devs use achievements as analytics. We love achievements that just monitor progress.
I also haven´t seen a single game so far where the one for finishing the game itself is not among the rarest achievements… Those that track the progress always make the achievement graphics look like a reverse pyramid.
Yeah, but games that are on sale for $1.99 are going to have horrible skewed numbers from games that are $19 and rarely go on sale. When a game gets past a point, it’s bargain binned and if you only look at units, you not getting the whole story. I’ve bought several $1.99 games, booted them once and never again. I don’t think this is a “valid” sale when comparing to other games (it’s even worse for games that have been in a Humble bundle). As a dev, you’re moving a lot of units at $1.99 but making very little money. If the game is 5 years old, that’s OK. Just don’t compare units from that 5 year old game to a 2 year old game that’s rarely been on sale. It’s not a realistic or even useful picture.
If I want to look at money then yes, it will be horrible wrong.
But if I just want to know something about their popularity I think it works well.
My assumption is that people not caring or really wanting to play a game (right away) won’t start the game at all. Or even install it or (regarding Humble) maybe not even claim the game on Steam.
(This assumption is based on my behaviour: I don’t start games until I want to play them.)
Same here: I haven’t played a lot of the games I got with Humble Bundles and I’ve never redeemed a Steam key. But I’m (we?) not the majority. A lot of people redeem the key on Steam and start the game just to look what kind of game that is.
You’d still have to factor in their age, sales and bundles, but yeah. If you compare games of similar age, you get a pretty good indication. For me, it was kind of eye-opening how little a lot of these games are actually played. Sure, there are many games competing for an audience, but there are also a lot of players, and some of the games I checked have been out for quite long.