I can’t believe I’ve never seen or wondered about this before, but it turns out you can scrape data from Steam and find out how much the entire service’s catalogue would cost to purchase. And it’s...a lot less than you’d probably think?
Chenggang Wang has a lil’ site called Buy All Steam Games, and it continually tracks the platform and finds out what the cumulative worth of the entire shopfront is. This means we can not only get historical data (the total value has more than doubled since 2017), but also check out the dips it takes when there’s a big sale on.
That includes games, sure, but Wang clarified with me that it also counts DLC and anything else you can buy there too, like soundtracks and digital copies of art books.
I’d have figured $538,000 would maybe get me half of the DLC for Crusader Kings II, not the entire store.
Note that the total figure is approximate, because the value is constantly in flux as new games are added and individual titles have specific sales or discounts unrelated to larger events like the Summer Sale.