Some of Steam’s highest grossing games this year were free-to-play

Free-to-play games prove they are rarely free

The highest grossing games for the PC storefront, Steam, have been announced in this year’s top hundred games as measured by gross revenue, and quite a few of them are free-to-play titles.

The games are listed in Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze tiers, though the website does not clarify if they are ordered within the tier. The Platinum tier features the twelve highest grossing games of 2021 and are as follows:

You can also find about the most played, top VR games, and more over here.


Of the twelve games, Steam’s owner Valve and publisher EA have been the most profitable with two games each featured in the Platinum tier. Interestingly, four of the games in this tier are also free-to-play games, meaning that they became the highest earning games of 2021 solely through in-game purchases. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds will also become free-to play in January 2022.

Only four of the games, Battlefield 2042, Valheim, Naraka Bladepoint and New World were released this year, with the oldest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive released almost ten years ago in 2012.

The one thing that links all the games in the top tier is that they all feature online multiplayer as a main component of gameplay. While some of the games, such as Grand Theft Auto V and Battlefield 2042 do have single player campaigns, it is the online component which keeps players returning and actively playing.

In other news, on the penultimate day of Epic Games Store’s 15 days of giveaways, Salt And Sanctuary is free to download for all users. Also Paris Hilton has announced that she has built an island in Roblox where she will perform a DJ set on New Year’s Eve. 

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