Another week, another dump of video game data of unspecified origin. As before, the data has titles, release date info, and Metacritic ratings for a few thousand video games between 2001 and today. The difference this week is that we have data for several major consoles instead of just PC games.
Here’s the breakdown:
This makes it look like the PC is this huge platform, but remember the PC covers the entire range from 2001 to 2020, while the consoles are limited to specific time periods.
Then again, the PC still seems to get more titles than the others, even if we narrow our query to a single year. There are 315 PC games listed for 2015, and just 237 for the PlayStation 4. That’s a much bigger difference than I would have guessed. I’m betting a lot of the extra PC games are indies taking advantage of Steam’s low entry barrier.
Over the full 2001-2020 period, the numbers go the other way. There are 4,404 total PlayStation games (any generation PlayStation) listed in the database, compared to 4,345 PC titles. I haven’t had time to compare them year-to-year to see where PlayStation pulled ahead.
I’ve always heard that games tend to come out on Tuesday. This always seemed odd to me. In the world of digital games, it seems like Thursday or Friday would make a lot more sense: Give the customer a day or so to pre-load the game and then it’ll be available just in time for the weekend. If I have a traditional weekday work / school schedule and I only game on the weekend, then there’s no benefit to picking up a game on Tuesday. If I can’t play until Friday night, then I might as well wait a couple of days for the reviews to come in and buy it on Thursday night if the critics are positive.
But whatever. Let’s see what the data says:
Wow. I knew Tuesday was the favorite release date, but I didn’t realize by how much!
And finally, let’s look at release months. In the past I’ve complained that too many games are packed in the end of the year and the summer is a wasteland. That’s how it feels, anyway. But what does the data say?
The curve isn’t nearly as extreme as I would have guessed based on personal experience, but you can clearly see the summer crater and the pre-Christmas peak.
I wonder if this is something that developed over time. Is the Christmas peak something that grew with gaming budgets, or has it always looked like this? If I knew more about using Google Sheets, I might try to set up a graph that lets you see the distribution of releases over the years.
As always, I lack the expertise to study this data, so I turn it over to you:
I can’t vouch for the accuracy of any of it. I’ve spot-checked a lot of records at random, and so far I haven’t found anything amiss. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t inaccuracies. This is a list of 12,000+ games, and that’s too much for a single person to audit manually.
Let me know what you find.
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