Home Steam’s total Pile of Shame is $19 billion spent on games never played

Steam’s total Pile of Shame is $19 billion spent on games never played


  • An estimated $19 billion has been spent on games that have never been played, more than some countries' GDPs.
  • This "Pile of Shame" could increase with the Steam summer sale starting on June 27, offering deep discounts.
  • The sale, running until July 11, includes popular titles and a 15% discount on the Steam Deck handheld console.

A whopping $19 billion is estimated to have been spent on games that have been purchased, but never been played. This amusing figure, representing the combined “Pile of Shame” of games that fans bought, say they’ll get around to — yet never do — is more than the gross national product of some countries like Mauritius, Nicaragua, or Niger.

And with the Steam summer sale kicking off on Thursday (June 27) that pile of shame could grow even further.

The estimation was made by Ed Smith of PCGamesN. He arrived at the estimate by examining the registered accounts on the video game digital distribution service. Just 10%, or about 73 million, are publicly visible through the SteamIDFinder’s database.

Based on the data from those accounts, Smith and PCGamesN then calculated that “collectively there’s around $1.9 billion / £1.4 billion worth of games that have been purchased and then never played even a single time.

“Times that by ten, to roughly account for all the Steam profiles that are not public, and you arrive at $19 billion…”

You can even look up your own shame through PCGamesN’s widget.

Steam pile of shame could grow further under the upcoming summer sale

Another dozen — or even more — games could go unplayed in your library as Steam on Monday promised a “Summer Sale Deep Discounts” category which will be visible from Thursday (June 27) to the sale’s July 11 conclusion. This could see 80% to 90% price cuts on truckload of offerings, making a single-digit price tag potentially too good to resist.

In the announcement of the sale which begins tomorrow and lasts until July 11, some oldies-but-goodies were revealed like Lego Star Wars, The Saboteur, Dirt Rally 2.0, and Doom.

Other long-standing hits with high value can be seen in the montage too, like Terraria, Football Manager 2024, Hades, and Dead Cells.

If you’re looking to the present, some new releases could be hit with a price cut like Palworld and Manor Lords.

The Steam Deck handheld console will also be on sale with a 15% discount, which will take the 64 GB, LCD configuration of the device down to $296.45.

Featured Image: Via Ideogram

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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