We need to talk about Baldur's Gate 3 player count numbers on Steam

I've been talking for a while about several games that rise and fall on Steam's concurrent player count lists (Starfield! Destiny!) but when it comes down to it… Baldur's Gate 3 is high on the chartsI usually say, “Well, that's an anomaly in its own category and there's nothing close to it.”

Well, I think it's time to talk about this anomaly because the performance we're seeing from this game is exactly that crazy. Here, after the Christmas break and some sales, the number of players for GOTY-winning Baldur's Gate 3 is up again, although frankly it's never really gone down at all.

This game was released on August 3, 2023 And now Five months later this Single player game he have 220,000 players are playing now. Lots of italics for emphasis, but it really needs to be said how brutal this is. Look at these numbers from the past five months to see who the top players are:

  • August – 875,343
  • September – 584,548
  • October – 333,010
  • November – 202,546
  • December – 258,536

It's up just 25% from last month Those The numbers were basically enormous. Again, holidays, some sales, some gifted purchases, some time outside of work and school, but still. Baldur's Gate 3 is truly an aberration, not just this year, but in many years, as I haven't seen a game do this well for so long in ages. At least not primarily one player. So what happens to give it that kind of longevity?

It's very simple. The game is very good. It's a generation challenger game. Some might say it's the game of the last decade. It's a beautifully woven story of character development and creative play in the vein of Dungeons and Dragons that will amaze almost any player, even those new to TTRPGs.

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The second factor is that it's…too long. You can blast through the game in a few dozen hours, but most playthroughs will exceed a hundred. Many can be closer to 300. Some can be much longer than that, and that's not including multiple playthroughs where you can play one of the thousands of in-game scenarios differently and get a completely different experience.

But those two things combine to make this game work in a way that other games can't. It is a game so intense that you can spend countless hours in it. But the game is like this good It allows players not to even get tired after Those hundreds of hours because they're still discovering new things, and they're still having a good time. And here we are, ending up in this wild anomaly that barely shows signs of slowing down, and is even accelerating this month. It may be years before we see anything like this again.

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