Welcome to this week’s State of the Game! We’re still catching up to this year and so we’ll be taking a look at the games released between the 18th and 24th of December last year. Typically I’d talk about how this week compares to the one that just followed it but, due to the fact that this week is dominated by arguably this year’s biggest release, I’ll be dedicating this entire post to that single game.

That game is, of course, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

PUBG actually made its debut on Steam back in March of this year and, even back then, it took out the top spot from a stats perspective. During that initial week, it averaged some 30,000 players, a respectable feat even for AAA titles with massive budgets. Ever since then PUBG has gone from strength to strength now averaging 1.6 million players and routinely reaching peaks of over 3 million, dwarfing the previous giants such as DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. How far it can grow from here is anyone’s guess as there really isn’t another game on Steam that we can compare it to.

That success has had a noticeable impact on other games on Steam, the most obvious of which is the game which gave PlayerUnknown his break: H1Z1. Initially, the games were quite comparable in terms of player base, heck you could even say that PUBG‘s release was actually good for H1Z1 with it receiving a non-trivial boost from newcomers to the genre. However, from there, it has been a steady decline for that particular title where it now averages around 20% of its peak players. Even games outside the battle royale genre aren’t immune as many players have now switched from other popular titles to PUBG as their game of choice.

It’s rare to see a game capture such a large audience so quickly, especially in a relatively new genre. Suffice to say that PUBG, now that it is “officially” released, is quite likely to be many players game of the year for 2017, even with numerous bugs. Will 2018 bring us a title to rival that of PUBG? Only time will tell!


David Klemke

State of the Game

David is the writer of the "State of the Game" series - a weekly look at the statistic behind the most popular games being played.