Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
SYFY WIRE Tabletop Games

Gaming: A $6.2 million board game, Steam’s top games of the year, and more

By Benjamin Bullard
The Elder Scrolls Online via Bethesda official site 2019

Amid the online cavalcade of best-of lists and rankings to help roll the end credits on 2018, Steam is out with its annual lineup of the year’s most boss-level titles — the games that earned the most, that players played the most, and that made the biggest buzz this past year on Valve’s online storefront.

While Steam doesn’t disclose how much money a game makes, it does group its hottest-selling titles into tiers — platinum, gold, silver, and so on — with platinum repping the cream of the crop. And unsurprisingly, the list of last year’s top-earning games is dominated by the biggest names, particularly those that tie gamers together for online play.

In no particular order, Steam’s top-selling platinum tier is highlighted by reliable multiplayer staples like The Elder Scrolls Online, PUBG, Dota 2, Rocket League, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. There’s also Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 5, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Civilization VI, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Warframe, and Monster Hunter: World.

As luck would have it, many (but not all) of the games that saw the most overall action last year on Steam were either free to play, immensely popular AAA titles, or both. PUBG, Monster Hunter: World, GTA V, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Warframe, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive all crossed over from the top-seller list to also appear on the platform's list of most-played games. Joining them at the top were the free-to-play Realm RoyaleTeam Fortress 2, and Path of Exile.

To check out other fun tidbits from Steam’s look back at the year that was, head on over to the Steam blog.

Maybe you’ve never heard of Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon, but chances are you may be seeing that name again, as tabletop games continue to enjoy their present-day renaissance. Via Polygon, the in-development, crowdfunded board game achieved the incredible distinction of topping all of Kickstarter last year — not just for gaming-related campaigns, but for all of them — collecting a reported $6.2 million from more than 40,000 backers through the end of 2018. 

Tainted Grail via Kickstarter 2019

The game hails from Awaken Realms, a Poland-based company that specializes in miniatures and tabletop game creation, and it’s billed as a survival co-op adventure “set in unique grim world inspired by Arthurian Legends.” Designed for 1-4 players, it follows in the footsteps of Awaken Realms’ successful This War of Mine: The Board Game.

It definitely looks ambitious. Set in the fictional world of Avalon, Tainted Grail offers a forking-path story script boasting “over 100,000 words,” multiple endings, and more than 1,000 illustrations. For a bigger peek at tons more images of the game’s miniatures and overall art style, check it all out at Kickstarter.

Finally, if your resolutions for 2019 include cutting back on your gaming habit, then this definitely isn’t the news you’re looking for: Meditations, a new platform aimed at offering complete but bite-sized gaming experiences, is debuting a game-a-day concept for each day of the year, and it's all free.

According to the platform’s website, the idea is to cover a variety of gaming genres and engage the efforts of multiple game developers, all while tapping into the whole pick-up-and-play approach. Clocking in at around five minutes apiece, each morsel will only be available for 24 hours before the next day’s fresh “meditation” comes along to take its place.

For more on how it all works, flip on over to the Meditations FAQ.

Read more about: