One of the most fascinating gaming stories of the year is shaping up to be the Second Coming of Cyberpunk 2077. Due to resurgent interest from an exceptional Netflix anime series, a new patch and a half off sale, the game is hitting concurrent playercount numbers that are the highest they’ve been in eons. And somehow, they’re still going up a week after Cyberpunk Edgerunners debuted.
What’s happening here?
Last weekend, I thought we hit a new peak on Sunday, where Cyberpunk 2077 hit 85,000 concurrent players, breaking into Steam’s top 10. But I was fascinated to watch throughout the course of this week, where somehow, on weekdays, Cyberpunk is still besting that number. Wednesday brought 86,099 concurrent in the middle of the week. Yesterday, Thursday, brought 89,000. As we head into another weekend, I do wonder if the game could end up hitting 100,000 concurrents if these trends continue, a wild story for a single player game that’s nearly been out for two years.
Why is this happening? Well, I’ve already gone through the basics, that the after about six major patches and dozens of hotfixes, Cyberpunk 2077 has corrected the vast majority of its launch bugs, and recent additions have been quality of life improvements and some new content like new clothes, guns, cars, apartments and even missions in the last patch. People are discovering that as technically disastrous as its too-early launch was, there’s a great game here.
As for why this trend is continuing to build, that to me signifies that people aren’t just getting back into the game, they’re sticking with it.
A “fast” playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077 where you skip a bunch of stuff is probably going to be 20-25 hours. A more robust playthrough of exploration and side missions and street crimes is probably more like 60-80 hours. So I feel like what we’re seeing here is players getting engrossed in the story and them continuing to stick with the game as more new players also try it out, snowballing the clear surge in interest. It also seems to be peaking at 11 AM ET every day, which makes me wonder if a large part of this surge is concentrated in Europe, given the timing.
I made a joke on Twitter yesterday that the game’s playercount is increasing because everyone had just met Panam, an attractive, engaging NPC that you meet a little ways into the story. But I’m only half kidding. I do think the more people play, and the more they get involved with Cyberpunk’s really, really good characters like Judy and Panam, the more hooked they are likely to be (and they may soon discover one of the saddest parts of Cyberpunk, that only female Vs can romance Judy, and only male Vs can romance Panam).
These numbers show me that not only is Cyberpunk 2077 attracting new players, that the players it is attracting are sticking with the game, and the stats are building as people work their way through dozens of hours of playtime that may instead peak this weekend, instead of last weekend, when they’d maybe just picked up the game. This can’t last forever, but man, what a ride for CDPR here.
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