It's only November and already more than 6,000 games have been added to Steam's marketplace in this year alone. That's according to Daniel Ahmad, an analyst at Niko Partners, a market intelligence firm that specializes in the Asian games market.
To give some perspective to that number, that's just about as many titles that were released in the ten year span between Steam's launch in 2005 and 2015. It's also more than the 4,207 games that were released in 2016.
A significant chunk of these games have come to the online distribution service via Valve's Steam Direct system, which launched in June as a replacement for Greenlight. In just three months, 1,300 games were added to Steam via Direct.
The idea behind Direct was to introduce better controls and filtering to prevent too many games from being added to Steam, with a $100 fee serving as a deterrent for any "drive-by" publishers. But apparently, it seems to have been ineffective at fighting off the deluge.
With over a month to go until the end of the year, it's guaranteed that the number of games being released will rise to even more ludicrous levels. For now, Valve will have to think about how to adequately curate their catalog without impeding small developers and publishers.
But given that Valve gets a cut of every game sold, it's probably no small loss for Steam to be flooded with product. UItimately, the challenge Valve faces is making the experience of exploring and shopping for games much easier for the end user.