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Steam’s biggest new hit is a Viking survival game that struck like a bolt from the blue

Author : wetyepp413
Publish Date : 2021-03-02 08:46:27
Steam’s biggest new hit is a Viking survival game that struck like a bolt from the blue

The other day, I saw a game named Valheim atop the Steam Early Access sales charts, with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Polygon seemed to like the $20 Viking-themed survival game, and I thought friends might like it, too. I wasn’t ready to commit quite yet — I waffled a while before giving it a go. Know who bought it while I was making up my mind? One million other people.

On February 10th, just eight days after launch, indie developer Iron Gate announced that Valheim had already sold 1 million copies. Five days after that, Valheim reached 2 million sales. On Friday February 19th, two days after we originally published this post, it hit 3 million sales. We're now at 4 million as of February 24th.

Here are a few other facts you might like to know:

    It has now been the second-most played game on all of Steam at many occasions, ahead of every game save Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and it’s comfortably trading blows with Dota 2 and PUBG for the #2 and #3 slots each day.
    It’s already set a top-ten record for concurrent players on Steam with roughly 392,000 on Monday, knocking Grand Theft Auto V off that top 10 chart.
    By Friday the 19th, it took the #9 spot with 410,000 players, pulling Postal down one rung.
    By the 21st, it crossed 500,000 simultaneous players to claim the #5 slot, bumping four more games down.
    It topped the Steam Top Sellers list during Valve’s Steam Lunar New Year sale — despite having zero discounts.
    Developer Iron Gate says it's already been played for a total of 10,000 years.


As PC Gamer points out, Valheim’s trajectory is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The closest parallel is perhaps PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds — which similarly came out of Steam Early Access, sold oodles of copies during Steam sales (also without being on sale), set a record for the Steam game with the most simultaneous players (3.2 million) that still stands today, and kicked off the entire battle royale genre that spawned today’s Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and more. But even PUBG took months to reach the kind of numbers that Valheim already has now, and that was with a genre-defining, action-packed, nail-biting, streamer-friendly game that makes for a delightfully tense watch. 

Valheim, by comparison, is slow and methodical. It’s part of an established genre of survival games where you scavenge and harvest, chop and dig, hunt and skin, then build better tools to do it all more efficiently over and over again. Only here, you’re also a badass Viking who can (eventually) build fortresses and ships, you’re hunting down gods for sport, and you’re exploring a gobsmackingly gigantic map filled with idyllic scenery, charming music, a touch of lived-in mystery, and some enemies that stomp me convincingly enough that I get a slight Dark Souls vibe out of it. Oh, and when you cut down trees, they fall and hit other things (like you) for massive damage! That’s never going to get old.

 

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Category : entertainment

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