Steam Stats April 2017: Survival games rule Easter weekend

Steam Stats is a monthly look into what's hot on Steam. This month, we're taking names on the millions of gamers that spent their Easter holiday weekend playing shoot ‘em ups online.

Here is how the list of top 20 games looked on Saturday, April 15:

  1. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  2. Dota 2
  3. Player Unknown's Battlegrounds
  4. H1Z1: King of the Kill
  5. Team Fortress 2
  6. ARK: Survival Evolved
  7. Grand Theft Auto V
  8. Football Manager 2017
  9. Rocket League
  10. Garry's Mod
  11. Rust
  12. Sid Meier's Civilization V
  13. Warframe
  14. Paladins
  15. Arma 3
  16. Stellaris
  17. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
  18. Unturned
  19. The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimtied
  20. Fallout 4

And below is how that list looked on Easter Sunday:

  1. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  2. Dota 2
  3. Player Unknown's Battlegrounds
  4. Team Fortress 2
  5. ARK: Survival Evolved
  6. Rocket League
  7. H1Z1: King of the Kill
  8. Garry's Mod
  9. Football Manager 2017
  10. Grand Theft Auto V
  11. Rust
  12. Sid Meier's Civilization V
  13. Warframe
  14. Arma 3
  15. Paladins
  16. Stellaris
  17. The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
  18. Ton Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
  19. Terraria
  20. Fallout 4

Saturday's numbers both began and ended with an estimated 8.5 million gamers online, and peaked at 13 million players between seven and nine in the morning. The numbers took a slight dip on Easter Sunday, with a peak of roughly 12.5 million gamers from seven in the morning to one in the afternoon. There was an odd cycle of sudden drops and spikes in active users in the evening hours, especially around 6pm with the number jumping past 8 million before dipping below it again repeatedly until the night ended with a little over 7 million users.

Players enjoy games that are violent and free

The top three titles remain unchanged from the previous column, which measured the stats at the end of March. Interest in the battle royale title PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds likely helped boost interest in H1Z1: King of the Kill. PUBG takes H1Z1's formula and adds a few twists and more options to up the ante and action.

It's also safe to assume that both the UEFA Champions League tournament and the upcoming end of most football seasons across the globe have given Football Manager 2017 a boost in recent weeks.

GTAV continues to scrape by at the bottom of the Top 10, where it dropped last month for the first time in weeks. The Rockstar title appeared to have a stranglehold on third place until PUBG showed up last month.

The big surprise this weekend was the inclusion of MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. How and why did a two-year-old title manage to break into the Top 20 in the middle of April? Simple: the title was free to play for a period of one week, from April 11 to April 18, across all platforms (PC, Xbox One, PS4). The entirety of the base game was available to everyone, giving the title a huge boost into the Top 20.

Another surprise addition to the Top 20 is the inclusion of Stellaris. The outer space grand strategy title's jump onto the list is thanks to the latest update, Utopia, released earlier this month. The update addressed a number of gameplay issues and resolved bugs in the original title.