Palworld’s mish-mash of collecting, base-building, and survival is proving to be a winning formula as the game rockets to the top of Steam’s most-played list. Palworld’s most recent concurrent peak came just four hours ago when it hit 1,582,482 players, according to SteamDB.
Outside of PUBG and Counter-Strike 2, no game has seen a higher all-time concurrent peak than Palworld. And only PUBG has a higher peak for games that aren’t free-to-play.
Image via SteamDB
While Palworld’s growth is crazy, it’ll have its work cut out to eclipse PUBG’s 3.2 million concurrent peak.
Palworld launched on Steam and Xbox Game Pass on January 19 and quickly exploded as players resonated with its take on Valheim/ARK mixed with the collecting gameplay of Pokemon. But it isn’t without controversy. Allegations of plagiarism swept social media. VGC has an article covering these allegations and the response by the game’s director.
This controversy isn’t impacting the reception to the game much as folks dive in.
Why is Palworld taking off? Some games hit at the right time, but several things are going for it. First off, the genre. It’s astounding AAA publishers continue to ignore the survival/base-building genre. Games like Valheim and ARK: Survival Evolved both saw massive successes. Fortnite jumped in recently with Fortnite LEGO, which was also a big success.
Palworld also runs pretty well for a game in this genre. And its collecting and Pokemon-like aesthetic appeals to a much broader audience than ARK. Mix that together, add the ‘Pokemon with guns’ memes, and all the big streamers are playing it, and we already have the biggest game of 2024.
I’ve played a little bit of Palworld, and while it’s clear it takes a lot from other games – it puts it all together in a game that is just fun to play.