Each year the number of indie games released on Steam increases. Despite that, there is no steady growth in the number of games that get promotion from Valve. Yearly only 470-590 indie games can count on featuring.
That conclusion was made by game marketing consultant Chris Zukowski in his latest study. Using Video Game Insight service, he found that “Steam has never had more than 600 games per year earn 1000 reviews”.
Specifically, every year from 2016 to 2022 the number of indie games that have 1000 reviews always sits at around 500, no matter how many games came out that year.
For example, in 2016, when Steam had 4.4 thousand games, 468 indie games received 1000 user reviews. Last year, there were 12.8 thousand releases but the number of games to earn 1000 reviews stayed roughly the same, 473.
The possible reason behind it, according to Zukowski, is “a ceiling to promotional capacity.” It means that Steam doesn’t have enough inventory to promote more games on its pages.