May 17, 2021

Apparently, Some Steam Users Have More Than 25,000 Games

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steam 25000

Photo: Casimiro PT (Shutterstock)

And you thought your backlog was bad. According to the patch notes of a recent Steam Beta Client update, some Steam users—or, more specifically, Steam libraries—may own north of 25,000 games. Woah.

The update, pushed live yesterday, is fairly slim and includes this patch note: “Fix a possible crash for users with around 25,000 or more games.”

Purely on its face, that figure is jaw-dropping, but it also poses a logistical quandary of epic proportions.

According to research conducted by Sergiy Galyonkin, the creator of Steam stats-tracking site Steam Spy, the median price of a Steam game in 2017 was $6. Sure, those figures are a few years old, but fuck it, whatever, let’s run with that. You’re still looking at $150,000 of video games.

An account with more than 25,000 games also poses an almost unfathomable matter of time. Let’s say—very generously—that you give each new game an hour, on average. Now, there are 8,760 hours in a calendar year. Even if you never slept, never ate, never did any of that necessary life-as-a-human stuff, never did anything but try games from your 25,000-strong game library, you’d still need three years to test out all of those games.

And that’s to say nothing of the storage space. (Though, to be fair, few people with an entirely digital collection keep all of their games downloaded at once.)

Valve did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what the heck was up with such staggeringly massive Steam libraries. At the moment, all we have is speculation. Some theories:

  • This account is owned by an eccentric gazillionaire with a compulsion to click any “Buy Now” button they see.
  • Same thing, but for someone who won the Powerball.
  • In 2011, Valve ran a contest wherein winners of the grand prize scored the entire Steam library.
  • It’s a press account shared by the staff of a large outlet. For the uninitiated, press accounts allow those who cover gaming professionally to download video games at no cost. That way, cost doesn’t become a prohibitive factor for cash-strapped publications. (Disclosure: Kotaku has a Steam press account. Kotaku does not have anywhere close to 25,000 games affiliated with that Steam press account.)
  • A time-traveling railroad baron from the 1800s somehow ended up in the 21st century and yet remains unconvinced that most trains these days are powered by electricity. This baron then directed an underling to “Buy me all the steam!!!!!!!” That underling misunderstood the prompt.
  • It’s Gabe Newell.

Whatever the case, one thing’s for damn sure: Anyone who owns an account this large is absolutely stumped over what to play next.

Read More

Maybe Your ‘Pile Of Shame’ Is A Problem

How To Chip Away At A Massive Games Backlog

Welcome To Backlog Month

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