Phoenix Labs' monster hunting action RPG Dauntless didn't exactly lack players, having racked up upwards of 3 million throughout the open beta, but the post-launch increase of 500,000 players in less than 24h still caught the dev off guard.
We are talking about a free-to-play game here, that's also among the rare ones that come with cross-play out of the proverbial box, but that doesn't make Dauntless' achievement any less impressive.
The surge in population is enough of a confirmation, as it's far from the first one the game's had, for more than one reason.
Dauntless went into alpha testing in August 2017, with open beta officially kicking off in May 2018, the latter alone attracting one million players within two weeks.
Phoenix Labs kept up the tempo and they were already past 2 million players by July 2018, and not even the launch of Monster Hunter: World managed to disrupt Dauntless' rise, ultimately proving to be nothing but a blip on the dev's radar.
Unfortunately, and that's if you could call popularity unfortunate, Dauntless' population surge caught the dev off guard, as their servers weren't prepared for what was coming.
"We've managed to increase the number of Slayers we can let in at once, but we're still seeing matchmaking issues. If you're getting disconnected after trying to matchmake or experiencing long matchmaking times — we're aware and actively working on it", Phoenix Labs tweeted some 24 hours ago.
Thankfully, the situation has stabilised since, and Dauntless has resumed normal operation, albeit with buffed server capacities so as to sustain the population. According to one of Phoenix Labs' latest tweets, they've doubled the capacities from a few days ago.
In case you're not familiar with the game, we're basically talking Monster Hunter: World type of game, although the dev often uses references to the most difficult days of World of Warcraft.
It's well worth noting that Phoenix Labs consists of veteran developers from Riot Games, Blizzard and Bioware, which makes the success of Dauntless even less of a mystery.