Context of Steam Charts Data

Actually, links have been posted and reposted and people were still throwing numbers around as if the numbers out of context were proof of something.

Context does not imply opinion or bias. It simply shows numbers next to one another. Words, on the other hand, usually convey a thought. In this case, the thought Derch is trying to convey is that he isn’t making a statement or attempting to interpret the numbers he’s provided. It makes no sense that people are trying to impart on him a position he has not given them permission to assign to him.

He posted numbers, not a page of his personal journal.

Never mind.

Derch is right. So are the naysayers. The trend is common to most games post-release. BUT, being that Battleborn STARTED at such a low number in the first place, it’s worse for BB than for other games with higher starting populations.

Derch is still right, though, because all the OP seeks to do is to point out that BB is following a familiar post-release trend.

And everyone else is still right because that trend, from a WEAK starting point, is still VERY bad news.

And I’m still gonna play my Battleborn on PC, because I can’t stand console controllers for most shooters.

(There. Constructive enough for everyone? Can I have my popcorn now?)

He posted numbers in graph form, using graphs that, when put side by side, are misleading at first glance, and claimed, in the topic and the OP, to be putting the numbers into context. Numbers and how you use them can imply or show a bias just as easily as words.

Popcorn, anyone?

so ironic that the thread claims to provide “context” and what i see is textbook “context dropping”


To everyone: I highly recommend to stop the personal accusations here and now. Add constructive feedback, add own numbers, add your own math, but stop talking about fellow members.

Its not so hard to follow our simple Forum Rules .

1 Like

While it’s not a perfect execution (having all 4 games on the same graph so that all numbers are on the same scale would have been much better), it does provide more information and context than pretty much anyone else that has thrown numbers has provided. It’s slightly misleading, but, if you know how to read graphs, it’s all pretty apparent:

Battleborn is doing slightly worse than what you would normally expect but only slightly worse. The game isn’t in immediately threat of dying, but it is worrisome. It is also due to a rather terrible confluence of negative factors (Overwatch, fumbling the matchmaking “improvement”), but that’s something you have to infer.


Like I said, it is a really rough estimate based on UK sales distribution. It is most likely higher than that for sure, but 1.8 ~ 2 million seems like a decent guess at a floor.

I’m honestly not certain what people want @Derch to say.

If you’re interested in how the numbers break down, read



  1. Battleborn sold fewer copies than other Gearbox games, for a lot of complex reasons.
  2. Battleborn’s player population fell broadly in-line with other GBX games over a similar time period.
  3. Battleborn had a stronger first month fall, and weaker second. In total, the fall was “above average” but not wildly above average.
  4. This is a bad thing for PC players. In fact, I would claim it’s a very bad thing. @Derch at no point claims that it isn’t.
  5. It is clear that based on the active player numbers on PC, something needs to be done to improve their experience, or else it will be difficult for them to find games in the future.
  6. This same problem is not currently being seen on the consoles. In fact, it’s unclear whether there is a problem on the consoles at all – we simply do not have the data, but anecdotal evidence tells us that active populations there are much, much higher.
  7. GBX is doing everything in its power to make the game better, and correct these issues. (this last one is not a “fact” per se, call it an article of faith).

All @Derch was trying to show is the very real trend that AAA titles often lose large portions of their population after an initial peak. Video games behave a lot like blockbuster movies in this way, they tend to “sell out” in their opening weekend and do significantly worse over time.

Battleborn had a harder “open” than many other games, which means that when the drop-off hit, it really hurt.

He never said that this is good, he just said that this is the way things tend to work.

Further, he wanted to make sure we weren’t using a false equivalence – claiming that OW’s 10,000,000 activated accounts is at all similar to the “concurrent active player” data that the Steam Chart gives.

A better comparison would be to say that:

Battleborn sold: 150k copies on PC + X copies on PS4 + Y copies on Xbox One.

Overwatch sold: 10,000,000 copies across all platforms.

Currently, 850 players (on average) play Battleborn at any given time on PC, and we don’t know how many play it on PS4 or Xbox One.

We have no idea how many of the 10,000,000 people who own Overwatch play it at any given time, those numbers are not available to us.

None of this means,

  1. Battleborn is healthy.
  2. That @Derch thinks Battleborn’s PC population is healthy.
  3. Or that we should just sit on our hands rather than offering suggestions to improve Battleborn.

Thanks for the time.


That wouldn’t be good since Borderlands started with 60K plus players and BB started with around 5K at at time, Battleborn would be pretty much a flat line making it not look like it does. By seperating them you can see the drop.

This is not about player counts, but the drop percentage in the first few months. To show those drops you have to do each within their own numbers.

1 Like

[quote=“Derch, post:64, topic:1539992, full:true”]That wouldn’t be good since Borderlands started with 60K plus players and BB started with around 5K at at time, Battleborn would be pretty much a flat line making it not look like it does. By seperating them you can see the drop.

Yeah, I missed the additional 0 on BL2 and TPS, which is definitely going to mess things around. Of course, since BL and BB have similar numbers, you could’ve laid those on top of each other in a separate “zoom in” graph (i.e. one graph with all 4 and another with just BL and BB). Would give a better sense of scale and comparison, imo.

But right now you get the better idea of the drop, which this thread is all about. Combining only makes that less clear. The most clear way to show each drop is to show them on their own. You have active player counts on the side as well.

1 Like

Eh, it’s really just personal preference. I prefer information that’s going to be compared to be on the same graph rather than split up (mainly because that’s what the research articles I’m used to reading tend to do).

Thinking about it now, I probably would have put them all on the same graph with the y axis as a percent of max players in order to get them on the same scale; from there, you just give the specific numbers for each data point in the text (or in subtext for the graph). That’d get the point across better since the percentage of remaining players is really what you’re getting at; but, then again, that’s just me.

then you don’t see the player counts and see less data I know I could of just put more data in the op. But this way you see player counts, accurate drops in comparison to each others. The data is the data, no matter how it is shown. It is shown accurately and without trying to twist it.

I haven’t been around in a while but this thread grabbed my attention. It shouldn’t be a mystery why this thread is eliciting the reaction it is. It’s pretty easy to illustrate why with a simple analogy:

If people eat limburger cheese and meat, but they have to wait a month for it to arrive from the store, and they keep getting sick… they’re going to figure out pretty quickly it’s a problem with the meat. If they then stop buying the meat but then some guy wearing a “I Love Meat” T-Shirt comes up to them and tells them “Well you know, month old limburger cheese and month old meat smell the same. I’m not saying if that’s a good or bad thing, I’m just putting it in context for you.” those people are not going to be very receptive to that info. They’ve already gotten sick, they’ve already made up their mind about meat, and that info does nothing for their past experiences or future ones.

And in the case of this thread, just as the above analogy, the info here does no good for solving the problem, it doesn’t explain why there’s a problem, and it comes off as either pretentious, worthless, disruptive, or downright hostile, depending on the intent that is projected on the provider of the info.

The people playing on PC don’t care if the falloff at release was like other PC titles, like other GBX titles, or the most random event in the history of all time. That “context” does nothing for the person waiting in queue nor for the people that are trying to convince their friends to play with them. It sounds like great rhetoric, but it’s as useful as pointing out that Battleborn, like other software, is stored and executed using a series of 1s and 0s.

1 Like

I’m not quite sure what you mean by this given the information I have provided, along with a simple interpretation.

Most games follow this trend. Great games, however, do not end up with sub 1K players on a given night a month after release. The graphs only prove there is something very wrong with Battleborn and free gold skins, Shift codes and a cash shop wasn’t really a solution.
The longer Gearbox takes to improve the game the less chance of anyone coming back to the game.


Wow, obscure analogy. I don’t agree. Perhaps rather than being [quote=“zesban, post:69, topic:1539992”]
pretentious, worthless, disruptive, or downright hostile

I see this thread as a breath of fresh air. Rather than taking random numbers from sites to support an already formed opinion, this thread presents numbers, in historical context, without espousing any opinion as to what they represent at all.

I’m really not sure why any post that doesn’t flat-out agree with the concept that Battleborn is a failure, is doomed, and GBX owes the community for the financial, psychological and emotional torment of being forced to buy it and play it, is somehow transformed into a guy wearing an “I love meat” t-shirt.


Your chart is off for Battleborn. Take a look at these numbers here and you’ll see that the amount of players in a day peaked at 12000 on May 3rd and dropped to 2000 on June 3rd.

If you were following the data before, you would see that the playerbase’s size corresponds with the 40-50% sales that Battleborn did within the first three months. That is the number one reason why the playerbase isn’t dropping as much as Borderlands 1 and 2 after two months.

Another surprising ratio is the amount of people who liked your status compared to the amount of people who clicked your link.

It’s uncommon for a game to lose 5/6s of it’s population within its first month.

I guess i’m a bit late to the thread. It seems danwarr said everything I wanted to say

This thread wasn’t meant to solve problems but put numbers that I saw going around the forums in context. Context matters. I am not a game dev nor do I work in marketing, I just play games. I don’t have the answer, and I’m not even really asking a question in the OP, just trying to put out context.

I tried really hard to be neutral in the OP as well, I don’t know how being neutral and not taking a stance on anything but just presenting context could be anything like “pretentious, worthless, disruptive, or downright hostile” How can you be hostile when you don’t take a side? [quote=“aboynamedjojo, post:73, topic:1539992”]
Your chart is off for Battleborn. Take a look at these numbers here and you’ll see that the amount of players in a day peaked at 12000 on May 3rd and dropped to 2000 on June 3rd.

If you look at the link I provided in the OP you will see the numbers are very real, they are average players over the span of a month, not peak.

I said I wasn’t making any statements just showing the numbers but if you want to grab the sales why the month 2-3 wasn’t as bad, you should also point out the fact none of those other games had market competition like overwatch at the start either that could of caused it to get that bad.

Again its also not common to have a game as big as overwatch come out so close to release as well, there were more uncommon factors.

The point was if the average AAA game looses lets say 60% of thier player base in the first 2-3 months and BB lost 80% yes its not doing as well, but thats different from saying BB lost 80% and saying nothing about you should of expected it to loose more than 60% because all AAA do, and rarely does a game have to compete with Blizzard putting out direct market competition.

Again that context makes a very large difference. Context matters.

I’m still not saying BB is going to be a massive success, I’m not saying it will turn around, I’m not saying it will fail, I’m not saying any of that because I don’t know and its too early to tell.

I’m providing context.