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Adding Vikendi props up PUBG's Steam numbers above 1m again

Published: 13:44, 25 December 2018
PUBG Corp
Player is calling for a supply drop with a flare gun.
PUBG - Flare Gun

It doesn't take a rocket scientist, or a desync specialist for that matter, to see that PUBG has been in a tough place since it left Steam's Early Access and although Vikendi helped prop the numbers up, it's not going to last forever.

We don't mean the map of course, since Vikendi is definitely here to stay. We're talking about the upturn in PUBG's fortunes and considering the luck they had since December 2017, when Greene and Co launched the proper 1.0 version. Yeah, we know, hence our italicising of 'proper'.

Now that we've got a year worth of numbers since PUBG launched, let's dig in. When it comes to concurrent players, PUBG's most successful month was January 2018, when they had around 1.6 million average players and up to 3.2 million peak players.

Unfortunately for PUBG Corp, it was all downhill from there and January 2018 was the last month that incoming players outnumbered the departing ones. We've already noticed the trend on more than one occasion in 2018 but it looks even worse now.

Coincidentally or not, PUBG also banned one million players in the same month, which surely didn't help with the numbers. As you can see for yourself from Steam's graph below, PUBG lost at least 10 per cent of its playerbase each month except for March and June 2018.

The game that broke Steam's concurrent players record in 2017, the same one that Gabe Newell named as Steam's third top earner ever, has even managed to pull off another record before dropping below 1 million. Namely, PUBG maintained 1 million concurrent players for an entire year , which is definitely no small feat. Unfortunately, that didn't last either, although their drop below 1 million was borderline cruel to PUBG Corp.

Steam PUBG's playerbase as shown by Steam Stats in December 2018 PUBG, Steam stats

The drop actually came just one day after its record , which may be cruel but is most certainly indicative of the continued efforts, or lack thereof, by PUBG's development team. Granted, the arrival of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, to name but a few, didn't help, but looking at the numbers, we can't help but ask what could've been had PUBG Corp sunk just a bit more time in netcode, and a bit less in cosmetics.

PUBG / Playerunknown's Battlegrounds by PUBG Corp and Bluehole

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