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Steam data shows just how much money was made during the Summer Sale

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

SteamSpy, the online tool that uses publicly available information from Steam's API to generate sales data, has only been live for a few months now. This past Steam Sale was its first big test, and boy howdy is the data it pulled down ever interesting.

For the first time ever we have an idea just how lucrative a Steam sale can be for a title. Here's a chart showing the top 10 biggest sellers by number of units sold.

The big winner is clearly Ark: Survival Evolved, which raked in more than $10 million in revenue. Considering they're a small indie team of around 40 people, that's a big payday. As far as raw units go, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive moved just hair under 830,000 units, which brought it the second-highest revenue number at nearly $6.2 million.

Guess that if you were still wondering why Valve hasn't spent time finishing Half-Life 3 yet, this is your answer. They're busy selling games for a living.

Interesting data has been trickling out of the SteamSpy Twitter account all week long, among them this interesting chart.

Steam sales aren't just good for big titles, they're also ways to draw more eyeballs to the entire marketplace. Discoverability will always be an issue, but by pulling in more customers you get more churn, and that means more people playing more and different games than they otherwise might.

SteamSpy is not just a blog, it's a powerful tool for cutting through data. It's also wrong sometimes, as it freely and repeatedly reminds its users. What other information can you find in there?