Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord has launched in Early Access after eight years of development and many strategy fans are rightfully buzzing. Interestingly, the prequel also managed to boost Mount & Blade: Warband's numbers.
Just to make it clear, the popularity boost enjoyed by Mount & Blade: Warband wasn't in millions or anything, as we are talking about a niche game that launched in 2010. Nevertheless, it's quite the boost considering its regular performance.
Now, Warband retained a pretty solid playerbase, which in the past few years kept around 11,000 players in rough average.
As of January 2020, however, Warband's numbers started growing, and it's pretty clear that Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord is the culprit. Interestingly, the biggest boost came in March, the same month Bannerlord launched, and the numbers are at 19, 908 at the time of writing.
We suppose we could turn it into stats and say that it's almost 100 per cent higher, but we're not going to do that for the sake of making it seem impressive.
It's clear that many players went back to refresh their memory ahead of Bannerlord's release, which is not surprising considering how layered TaleWorlds' strategy is.
What's made quite evident though, is that Mount & Blade franchise is quite unique and that there aren't many, if any, alternatives to the series. You're either playing Bannerlord, which sports a peak player count of 227,071, or trying to turn back the clock with Warband, which holds up surprisingly well to this day.
Telxvi ran Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord through its paces and found that while it's not without its flaws, many of which we're will eventually be stomped out, it's a worthy successor to Warband. You can learn more in the full review .