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Third of installed Steam games remain unplayed, study finds

Research suggests more than 780 million games have been installed on Valves digital games platform

More than a third of games installed across Steam accounts have not been opened once, according to a new report.

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Valve wants to thrive in the living-room with its new line of Steam Machines

A comprehensive breakdown of Steam sales and game consumption habits, researched by and published on Ars Technica, shows that more than 780 million games have been installed since Valve's digital games platform launched in 2004.

Of this mass of games, about 37 per cent have not been opened, while 17 per cent have been played for less than an hour.

However, Ars Technica notes that many Steam games are packaged as part of bundle deals, while others are given away as part of competitions, and some of the most popular games are free to download.

The publication also notes that its game consumption data is only representative from March 2009, meaning the first five years of Steam player analytics are missing.

Nevertheless, measured samples (of roughly 85,000 valid Steam user accounts for each test) reveal that more than half of Steam's titles have not been meaningfully engaged with. The study's author, Kyle Orland, also details the experiment's methodology and demonstrates tests for accuracy.

Elsewhere in the report, it is revealed that Dota 2 has been installed on some 25 million Steam accounts, while Team Fortress 2 has reached 20 million accounts. Acclaimed Valve title Half-Life 2 is installed on eight million machines, while the most popular third-party title is Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, which was installed on six million Steam accounts.

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Above:Most popular games on Steam (by installed number)

Meanwhile, the study also reveals the most unplayed games, with Valve's Ricochet played by some 300,000 of the game's total 6.7 million owners. The official Half-Life 2 mod, Lost Coast, has been installed on 12.8 million accounts but only played by some 2.1 million fans.

The data also reveals the most played game per head, by far, is Sports Interactive's Football Manager 2014. In terms of median hours spent on the game, Football Manger 2014 is played for 100 hours per average user. That is twice as long as Skyrim, which clocks in at 53 hours.

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Above: More than half of all Steam games are played for less than an hour

Further details are available on Ars Technica.

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