Numbers are fun, and Steamcharts can often give a solid indication as to how popular any game is – generating stats that show the overall population of a Steam-enabled title over several different long range and short range timeframes.
The snapshot of this summer’s userbases among the four most popular racing sims, Project CARS, Assetto Corsa, DiRT Rally, and F1 2015, display a few different trends that need attention drawn to them.
The userbase for Project CARS – not just people who are racing online, but people who have the game booted up – has shrunk to less than 20% of its peak size with a month remaining in the Summer of 2015. Despite preposterous claims that the game had re-invented sim racing for a new audience by several review sites clearly paid to talk up a title notorious for game-breaking bugs and glitches, the game’s mainstream popularity has almost completely fallen off and is now no better or worse than its direct competitors.
F1 2015 started out strong, but by a week into the game’s lifespan, dropped like a rock to the point where only a few hundred people play the game regularly. This is due in no small part to the horrendous launch which saw even the most diehard of Codemasters F1 fans shit on the game. A month after the game’s been on shelves, with several patches released in an effort to improve the experience, RaceDepartment gave the game a rating of 40%.
Assetto Corsa’s community is the most steady of the bunch, only receiving a slight boost in popularity when comprehensive updates are released. Ideally as a dev, this is what you want – hard data without any ominous trends to skew the numbers.
DiRT Rally‘s userbase unfortunately isn’t as steady. Though the game receives a boost in popularity with each monthly update, adding new cars, stages, and game modes, the amount of people playing the game slowly drops off throughout the rest of the month as people lose interest.
We’re now at a point where Assetto Corsa and Project CARS are on relatively equal footing, DiRT Rally needs just a bit more to suck people in, and F1 2015 has largely been forgotten.