December’s biggest surprise: The debut of Starbound, UK-indie Chucklefish’s first game, at #5 — even though it’s only available via Steam Early Access.
The Starbound beta went on Steam Early Access in December, and after a huge first couple weeks gameplay hours quickly declined, to a point where the game is currently tracking to miss the top 20 in January. Those numbers could bounce right back as the development team adds content and works toward an official launch, however.
Overall, PC gameplay among Raptr members was up 5% over November.
Note: The Share number by each game represents that title’s gameplay time as a percentage of the total time spent on all the PC games played by Raptr members, and is useful for comparing the relative amount of playtime between particular games.
DOTA 2 total gameplay time declined 11% versus November, while League of Legends was up nearly 14%. (League of Legends playtime tracking only works during actual games and not lobby time due to the way the game’s designed, so LoL playtime would compare even more favorably with DOTA 2 if it could be tracked in the same way.)
The troubled Battlefield 4 slipped a couple spots in the rankings and didn’t get much of a boost from the China Rising map pack (released on Nov. 30), but it still garnered more than double the playtime of the next closest first-person shooter…and more than 8x the playtime of Call of Duty: Ghosts on PC, although that franchise is far stronger on console.
A Steam Holiday sale for 75% off Counter-Strike: Global Offensive accounted for that title’s gameplay uptick, and Garry’s Mod got a similar boost although its rank was unchanged. Left 4 Dead 2 was free on Christmas.
Blizzard sent out another round of beta invites for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (up eight spots) shortly before Christmas. The game hit open beta on January 21, so look for this one to keep rising.
Path of Exile gameplay hours were down nearly 60% and monthly players by about 40% compared to November, despite fairly regular patches and tweaks. It looks like the next major content update isn’t coming until March.
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