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Fallout 4’s announcement gives whole series a boost

Everybody’s so giddy about the Fallout 4 announcement, that they’re replaying older games in droves: Thumbsticks checks out the figures.

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Fallout player stats infographic header

Everybody’s so giddy about the Fallout 4 announcement, that they’re replaying older games in droves: Thumbsticks checks out the figures.

Fallout 4 was announced yesterday. It’s fair to say people are more than a little excited about it. Oh my God is that actually Dogmeat? No way! That’s amazing! Dogmeat, we missed you! Dogmeat! We’re managing to maintain our composure over at Thumbsticks, though, and have been looking at the mathematical effects of Fallout 4’s announcement.

One of the side-effects of an announcement with Fallout 4’s level of build up (with all the false starts and the now infamous countdown clock) – and particularly when that announcement hasn’t actually given a firm release date – is that people start to get itchy trigger fingers. You can already pre-order Fallout 4 but the people want more Fallout, and they want it now.

And if that is the case, where do you get your kicks? You go back and play the earlier games in the series. Maybe you embark on Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas to get your skills in tip-top wasteland condition ready for Fallout 4, or perhaps you play the originals to see where the series came from, but one thing is clear: people are flocking to the available Fallout titles in droves.

Let’s take a look at the numbers…

Fallout 4’s announcement gives whole series a boost

So while it’s not entirely unexpected that the numbers have gone up, it’s worth mentioning that the big spike we see here put Fallout’s peak last night above some newer titles. Fallout: New Vegas alone even beat the peak play figures of anarchic younger cousin Borderlands 2 and post-apocalyptic craft-em-ups DayZ and H1Z1 – that makes the upturn even more impressive.

A word on the data

The above statistics were collected from steamcharts.com and are therefore based on active Steam player numbers. PC was chosen as the preferred data subset because Fallout and Fallout 2 are not available for consoles.

This is obviously a snapshot of the data available for PC gamers, and cannot account for Steam users in offline mode, non-Steam PC gamers (with non-Steam retail copies or keys from… other sources) and of course, console gamers*.

*Please don’t get angsty with us because your preferred platform or method is not included; we picked the data from what appears to be the most comprehensive cohort available at the time, to highlight an indicative trend.

How we calculated the Fallout

First, we located all the available and relevant (DLC without any players was ignored, for example) Fallout main series entries on steamcharts.com. This left us with the following:

  • Fallout
  • Fallout 2
  • Fallout 3
  • Fallout 3: Game of the Year edition
  • Fallout: New Vegas*
  • Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition*

*Fallout: New Vegas and its Ultimate Edition are both purchased from the same Steam Store page, but it appears the two different Steam app IDs are counted individually by the steamcharts.com website.

Then we picked the peak user numbers for each title from 3 June 2015 (Fallout 4 announcement day) and that became our ‘current’ statistic. In the case of duplicate entries (Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas) both Steam app IDs were added together to make a combined total.

We then repeated the process for each day of the preceding 7 day period. Again, in the case of duplicate entries (Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas) both Steam app IDs were added together to make a combined total. We then added the peak figures together, and divided by 7, to achieve the average daily peak figure.

The average daily peak figure for each title was then plotted against the 3 June 2015 figure in the individual pie charts.

The series figures were calculated by adding together the average peak figures for the 7 day period for each title, and was then plotted against the 3 June 2015 figure for each title combined, on both the series pie chart, and the trend graph.


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.