The year 2021 is coming to an end. For all of us, it’s been another tumultuous year, and the gaming business hasn’t been immune to the problems posed by Covid-19 and its newer variations. Despite this, developers continued to produce high-quality games such as Valheim, It Takes Two, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Despite its several flaws, Amazon’s New World proved to be a huge success.
A lackluster end-game content lineup, hardware failure with some high-end GPUs, and repetitive questing are among the complaints. Regardless, New World is included in Valve’s “Platinum” category of top sellers, as measured by gross income. The valve combines DLC sales, microtransaction money, and upfront game purchases into one behind-the-scenes number for compiling the Top Sellers of 2021 list.]
New World ranks alongside Steam’s other big 2021 success stories, both new and ongoing. Vilhelm, Destiny 2, Apex Legends, DOTA 2, and, of course, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is among them. Warframe, Red Dead Redemption 2, Rust, Forza Horizon 5, and 2021 GOTY award winner It Takes Two are among the games in the Gold tier. Silver games included Cyberpunk 2077, Monster Hunter World, Civilization 6, and the Mass Effect remastered trilogy, while Bronze included Dyson Sphere Program, Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, and Doom Eternal.
Of course, Valve keeps track of other criteria in its Greatest of 2021 collection: top new releases, best VR games, best “Controller friendly” titles, and, perhaps most intriguingly, Steam’s “Most Played” games of the year.
In that third category, we’re seeing a tier-based separation once again, but this time, instead of Platinum, Gold, and Silver designations, Valve has categorized the most played games by peak gamers. Halo Infinite and Apex Legends head the pack of games with over 200,000 peak players in 2021, followed by Rust, New World, Cyberpunk 2077, and Valheim.
Resident Evil Village, Among Us, Warframe, Naraka Bladepoint, and, shockingly, Team Fortress 2 are among the games with over 100,000 peak players in 2021. With over 60,000 peak gamers, Unturned, Stardew Valley, and Total War: Warhammer 2 were all major successes. With almost 30,000 gamers, Nioh 2, 7 Days to Die, Company of Heroes 2, and, for some reason, Terraria’s “Toploader” trailed behind.
On or off Steam, 2021 wasn’t a horrible year for games, but let’s hope 2022 is even better. At the very least, the first quarter is promising, with major releases like Total War: Warhammer 3 and Elden Ring coming in February.