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Half-Life: Alyx’s Launch Doubled the Previous Record for Highest Player Count Ever in a VR Game on Steam

Valve’s Highly Anticipated Third Game in the Half-Life Series Doubled VRChat’s Peak to Become the New #1

March 26, 2020 by

After sixteen years of internet rumors and memes, on Monday, Valve did what many thought the publisher would never do and officially released a new Half-Life game.

While it’s still not clear if Valve knows how to count to three, the player counts for their numberless third game in the series, Half-Life: Alyx, have set a new all-time record for a VR game at launch with a peak of 42,583 concurrent players on Steam.

This also marks the first time that a VR-only spinoff from a triple-A franchise has found major success on Steam. Bethesda’s Skyrim VR and Fallout 4 VR both generated just shy of 3k concurrent players at their peaks – falling far short of publisher expectations when compared to the original IPs which had six figure player counts.

Other triple-A spinoffs like Doom VFR’s 277 peak players and L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files’ 110 peak players certainly didn’t pay off for Bethesda and Rockstar Games – both being signs that the VR market could be in serious trouble.

The previous record-holder, VRChat, has been the only virtual reality game to stay in Steam’s top 50 most played games – peaking with 20k players back in January 2018 and still averaging close to 15k players per hour this month.

No Man’s Sky and Valve’s own Dota 2 both saw higher player counts after their big VR updates. However, since both titles can be played without a VR headset and there’s no data showing their player base segmentation between regular PC gamers and VR users, we haven’t compared those numbers here.