Half-Life: Alyx (2020) launched yesterday on Steam, which not only symbolizes Valve’s first dip back into the Half-Life franchise from over a decade, but also marks it as their first full-fledged VR title. You might not be too surprised to learn that Half-Life: Alyx broke some serious records on the platform yesterday too.

Update (11:00 AM ET): Valve appears to back up these numbers, as displayed by Steam’s own game stats. We’ve changed the headline and some language in the body to better reflect this confidence in official data.

As shown by SteamDBan independent database which tracks game and user statistics on Steam, Half-Life: Alyx saw a peak concurrent usership of 42,858 players, practically putting it head and shoulders above the competition for top concurrent users in a VR game on Steam.

Following these stats, the second place for highest concurrents on Steam was BONEWORKS (2019), which saw a peak of 8,717 players right after it was released late last year. The physics-based shooter from Stress Level Zero also generated over $3 million is revenue in its first week across both Steam and Oculus platforms, so while there’s no telling just how much Half-Life: Alyx has earned in comparison it seems well-positioned to break a few more records in that department as well.

'Half-Life: Alyx' Review – Valve Delivers One of VR's Best Games Yet

At the time of this writing there are reportedly nearly 12,000 operating SteamVR right now, if VRLG data can be believed. Both VRLG and SteamDB are currently reporting the same concurrent user numbers of over 8,000 users in Half-Life: Alyx, putting it at a hypothetical 66.6% VR users on the platform playing the game.

While many games have their largest glut of concurrent players on launch day, juggernaut multiplayer titles like Dota 2 and CSGO have seen concurrents peak years after initial release, although these are generally exceptions to the rule. While Half-Life: Alyx is likely destined to follow the former and not the latter in terms of concurrent user drop-off, we may very well count it among one of the most important milestones in VR history to date.

Thanks to Hrafn Thorisson of Aldin Dynamics and Anton Hand of Rust LTD. for uncovering the news.

Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • kuhpunkt

    You don’t need SteamDB or anything. Steam constantly shows these data here: https://store.steampowered.com/stats/

    • redd

      Show me the chart filtered by VR-Only or any individual game. That’s the value of the 3rd party sites like vrlfg.net and steamdb.

      • kuhpunkt

        Those sites keep the records, yes – but the article implies that SteamDB reported those data, when they come directly from Steam. He even used a disclaimer as if the data had to be taken with a grain of salt.

  • VRagoso

    Nice to be able to appreciate history as it unfolds. Remarkable times we live those days :)

  • Foreign Devil

    Couldn’t get a more perfect release time for an immersive VR game. Talk about captive audience!

    • Nathan Benkhe

      I was kinda wondering what I was doing playing VR while on COVID-19 quarantine, choosing to escape into a VR world to do what??? To go walking into a quarantine zone??? Perfect timing for being a relevant title for the times!

    • NooYawker

      Yes and no, because there’s a lot of people who have to wait 8 weeks to get their Index VR kit because manufacturing has gone to shit.

  • Bamux

    As a hobby programmer I am working on some statistics about VR. The database I have created is freely accessible to everyone and can be used for your own statistics.

  • Look at the graph for Alyx on Steamdb now… the number of users has dropped a lot. Because the game has little replayability