Steam Gauge exposes the secret data behind the games

In today's open source roundup: Ars Technica's Steam Gauge reveals game popularity and play time. Plus: A review of Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS, and how to customize Ubuntu GNOME 14.04

Steam is one of the most popular options for gamers these days. But have you ever wondered about the numbers behind the games? Which games are really the most popular and how often do they get played? Ars Technica has dug into the data behind Steam and come up with some very interesting information about the games on Steam.

According to Ars Technica:

We've come up with what we believe is a much more robust way of estimating sales and player data based on publicly available information, at least when it comes to games specifically on Valve’s Steam download service. The information we’ve collected over the past few months includes not only sales estimates for every game on Steam, but also data on how many hours Steam users have spent time playing those games. The result is a wide-ranging survey of a service that estimates suggest represents 70 to 75 percent of the current PC gaming market in the US.

To make a long story extremely short, there's a reason why publishers chase those rare big hits—because the top few relative performers make up an outsized proportion of the sales and usage data on a service like Steam. When it comes to finding success in PC gaming, our data shows there's a huge gap between those top performers and the thousands of also-rans that make up the bottom rungs.

More at Ars Technica
Steam Gauge Reveals Most Popular Games
Image credit: Ars Technica

The thing that surprised me the most was the number of games that were purchased but never played. That seems odd to me. Why would somebody buy a game and then not play it? Perhaps they were just impulse purchases that were quickly forgotten about by the gamers who bought them? I expect we'll never know but it's an interesting data point.

Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS review

The latest version of Ubuntu GNOME is out and I did a review for Desktop Linux Reviews.

According to Desktop Linux Reviews:

Ubuntu 14.04 was released recently and as usual the other flavors of Ubuntu have also been updated to 14.04 including Ubuntu GNOME. Ubuntu GNOME tends to get overlooked a bit, given all the attention that goes to the main Ubuntu release. However, that’s a shame since it has quite a lot to offer anyone who prefers the GNOME interface to that of Unity.

Please note that Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS is a long term support release. Such releases tend to focus on polish and stability rather than introducing loads of new features.

More at Desktop Linux Reviews
Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS Review
Image credit: Desktop Linux Reviews
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