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 SteamDB, an 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.
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.