The Battle Royale phenomenon known as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds now sits atop the Steam charts for the most concurrent players ever at 1,348,374. Surpassing Dota 2 for a record most of us thought would never be touched. And the game is showing no signs of slowing down.
But another stat is being lost in the shuffle of PUBG’s record growth. Steam’s growth. Steam hit 15 million concurrent users for the first time this month. And hit 15.3 million earlier today. That’s one million more than its previous record high around New Years. PUBG is a system seller. In this case, that system is Steam.
Hell, I know of several friends who bought PCs just to jump on PUBG. These are friends who have never played PC games in the past.
The timing of when PUBG hits its peak numbers also tells us the game is a huge hit in China. Peak players tend to happen in the morning U.S. time. SteamSpy posted a chart earlier this month showing just how big the game is in China now.
SteamSpy went on say the numbers in the U.S. aren’t dropping. But the sheer amount of growth in China is skewing the percentages.
It also makes sense why the launch of Destiny 2 didn’t have much of an effect. I know the number of folks who play regularly on console and PC probably isn’t that high, but I thought we might see a slight dip. I was wrong. PUBG’s player numbers only went higher.
SteamSpy also touched on the user behavior for PUBG. He likened it more to MOBAs or MMOs, not shooters.
PUBG doesn’t behave like a shooter in this regard. It’s usage patterns are closer to MOBAs and MMOs.
How much bigger does PUBG get? I don’t know, but I know one thing. No number will surprise me. The Battle Royale genre was primed to have a breakout moment. H1Z1 showed its popularity. And H1Z1 also shows there is room for other Battle Royale games. Maybe not PUBG numbers, but top 5 on Steam is a spot most developers and publishers dream of.
I want to see what PUBG does on Xbox One. Can it dethrone the top traditional console games like Destiny 2, Call of Duty and GTA? And if it can, does it become a defacto system seller for Xbox One?
I believe PUBG can. Plenty of my buddies on Xbox are waiting to try the game out. And it fills the third-person tactical shooter niche left void by Ghost Recon’s lack of multiplayer. I’ll be double-dipping.
Now, we wait to see how big PUBG gets. 2 million concurrent players? 3 million? More? Unless PUBG’s growth starts slowing now, 2 million is a lock. How high do you think it can go?