Following the hype and the most successful launch on Steam this year, No Man’s Sky takes a tumble in player count
No Man’s Sky holds the title for biggest Steam launch of 2016 so far. It’s quite understandable considering the hype surrounding it, No Man’s Sky had a whopping 2,12,620 people playing it simultaneously on launch day. That’s faaar ahead of any other title released on Steam this year according to Steam Stats. However, it subsequently suffered a tremendous fall-off in players – a good 88 percent of its user count – in the following two weeks. Are we surprised? Not really.
The interwebs were rife with discussions on No Man’s Sky and its decline. In addition to ranting about the lack of things to do and the failed promises by the game devs – being able to meet other players in game for example – the people are saying the only way anyone would even consider continuing to play the game would be if they were to make it much cheaper, or even better – free. Well, people are definitely not going to be running into each other now, since nobody’s playing anymore.
Thanks to data from SteamSpy and SteamDB we can tell that the peak player count for No Man’s Sky was 2,12,604 on August 11 and it was only 25,689 on August 22. Similarly, hourly concurrent players were also down, from 127,224 on the 14th of August to 22,852 on the 23rd. Keep in mind that this doesn’t reflect the total population of players in-game, but rather the number of people playing it at the same time. And as is the case with every game, interest is bound to reduce after the initial newness of the game wears off.
While this may seem like a huge drop, it may not be as bad as it appears to be. Many well-received AAA titles – Far Cry Primal and Doom for instance – had their peak player count reduce by over 80 percent after the first month of release. No Man’s Sky dropped much sooner however, much faster than what one would expect from a game that boasted endless exploration.
What we’re getting at is a game with a short single-player campaign will obviously see a drop in peak player count. But when a game where the core aspect is discovery and the intention is investing hours upon hours of your time, well there better be some cool stuff to do and discover while you explore.
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.