Back in 2014, I began what I called a Steam Personal challenge. I identified that I had a major issue with my Steam backlog (which was much, much smaller than it is today), and decided to make an effort to play more Steam games to get that number down.
Back then, the Steam Calculator determined the percentage of games not played. Now days, it does the opposite – it determines the number of games you have played. That’s a little less negative, it seems.
So when I started my personal challenge, I’d basically only played 29% of the games I owned.
2018 – Reaching the 50% Milestone
Back in 2018, I met my goal of bringing the games I’d played percentage up to 50%. Here’s what my numbers looked like back then.
Part of my goal was to cut back on buying games – no more bundles with unwanted games, for example. I also wanted to start playing games right after I bought them if possible.
Back in 2018, here were my most played games.
Back in 2016, I started something that I call Steam Culling. Basically, I put together a list of games that I know I’m probably not interested playing.
This I usually used for games I got as part of a bundle when I was really interested in just one or two of the bundled games. I stopped buying these bundles due to this, but I still had a bunch of games I would just install, try out for a short time, then uninstall when I got the jist of it. Usually, I was right – I wasn’t interested in the game.
Sometimes, this list includes instances like the when you bought the original version of a game and Steam automatically gifted you the Game of the Year or Director’s Cut upgrade. Statistically, that counts as two games when it’s really just one!
Or when you get the Test servers stuck in your backlog for games that you bought. For example, H1Z1 – which is a game that doesn’t even exist anymore – counted as FOUR games in my backlog: Just Survive, Just Survive Test Server, H1Z1 Battle Royal, H1Z1 Battle Royal Test Server. These test servers were a pain because they are a huge download and take forever. Luckily, even though the game doesn’t exist anymore, attempting to run the test servers did count as having played the game.
I think I have the ARK test server on my backlog and just need to carve out a day to download it just to launch it and get it out of my stats. That’s going to be a big one.
2021 – Reaching the 60% Milestone
I’ve been doing a good job of buying less Steam games and playing the games I’ve bought. Some of this is because I’ve been shifting towards Xbox Game Pass for a number of games I might have tossed on my Steam wishlist. That keeps them out of my backlog.
I’ve also been working on actively culling extra copies of games, test servers, games that don’t exist anymore, games that are no longer developed/supported and games I know I’m not interested in playing. I’ve been sitting at 59% for a while now, and decided this week I was going to work at culling the big and annoying downloads I keep avoiding.
My goal for 2021 was to get to 60% of games played. I’m happy to announce that as of last night, I successfully reached that gaming goal for this year!
I know that it seems like I added almost 50 games to my backlog since 2018. I’d like to note that some of these were Humble Bundle games I got with bundles that I’d not claimed before – I reluctantly moved them to my backlog and put most of them on the culling list. The games I knew I absolutely didn’t want, I gave away on Steam Gifts. So that was quite a number!
Some of that number also came from what I described above. I bought Bards Tale IV. Then Bards Tale IV Director’s Cut came out and now one game turned into two in my library. That’s happened often (thank you for the free upgrade, though!).
And yes, I have just bought games, though I’ve bought a lot less than I did in the 2014-2018 period of time!
Here’s my list of most played games, just for curiosity:
Interesting how there’s not a huge difference in titles the past 3 years! Though I did add a number of new titles that I really enjoy playing.
Anyhow – my 60% played goal is finally achieved. Maybe if I cull enough and play enough I can go for 65% before the year is out? What do you think?