Bethesda Game Studios
Valve has published lists of the best-selling and most-played Steam games of 2019, and Bethesda Softworks’ biggest hits are fascinating to consider. In the platinum category, The Elder Scrolls Online sits at number three on the list of Steam’s top 100 sellers of the year (by gross revenue). ESO is a massive game in terms of scope, but it’s got a lot of expansion content and microtransactions available, as well, so it’s not surprising to learn that it’s Bethesda’s highest-earning title on the platform.
In the bronze category, the publisher’s next big game of 2019 is Rage 2, developed by Avalanche Studios and id Software; it sits two spots behind Microsoft’s Gears 5. Bethesda’s other two top-selling games on Steam were Fallout 4 and—closer to the bottom of the list—Skyrim Special Edition. The publisher had two platinum-selling games in the virtual-reality category this year: Skyrim VR at number 10 and Fallout 4 VR at number 11. No real surprises there. Doom VFR is further down the list in the silver category, and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot failed to make the list altogether.
On the list of 2019’s most-played games (“with the highest peak simultaneous players”), Bethesda’s big winner is still 2015’s Fallout 4, with ESO just four places behind it. Skyrim is the third Bethesda title to crack 25,000 simultaneous players on Steam this year.
This is all just one PC ecosystem, mind you, but given Steam’s popularity, it does reinforce some popular beliefs: that people still want big single-player RPGs, that Fallout 76 doesn’t have the audience that its predecessor did, and that The Elder Scrolls Online is still an incredibly worthwhile and popular MMO.