PUBG On Steam Falls Below A Million Players For First Time In A Year

TJ Denzer,

September 11, 2018 8:15 AM

A recent check on Steam databases shows that PLAYERUNKNOWN's Battlegrounds just dropped beneath the one million active player mark for the first time in a full year. Is the battle royale hype cooling down?

Since its arrival in the scene, PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds has been a go-to for many players and streamers on Steam, at times dethroning even top Valve games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2, but recent reports show PUBG’s fiery popularity starting to die down. For the first time in a year, PUBG’s concurrent players have dropped below the one million mark on Steam.

The report comes from SteamDB.Info, which tracks player activity in games played through the Steam platform. On September 10, 2018, PUBG reportedly landed at it’s first sub-million mark, tracking a maximum player count of 960,263 for the day. You can see an image of PUBG’s overall year with the September player and streamer numbers below.

A look at the previous year in PUBG on Steam shows a max out in January of 2018 which has led to a slow decline in the months following.
A look at the previous year in PUBG on Steam shows a max out in January of 2018 which has led to a slow decline in the months following. [Image via SteamDB]

While still very strong, a look at the year shows a steady decline in player count from its absolute peak in January of 2018, when PUBG achieved a maximum player count of 3,257,248. On Steam, the game seems to indicate dips and rises which continue to decline down to the player mark it landed at on September 10.

There are a number of factors to consider in PUBG’s decline in active players on Steam. For one, there are more places to play than on Steam now. Since its release, PUBG has become available on Xbox One, as well as on mobile via Android and iOS devices. That means that while Steam’s numbers are notable for the PC version, they don’t represent the entire PUBG player base anymore.

There’s also competition to consider. Since PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds released and popularized the battle royale genre, many different companies have followed suit. Most notable is, of course, Fortnite’s battle royale mode, but there’s also Realm Royale from Hi-Rez Studios, Darwin Project from Scavengers Studio, and most recently the Blackout mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, the Private Beta of which is happening right now and aligns closely with PUBG’s recent player count drop.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode is available to play in the Private Beta and could be one of the factors pulling away from PUBG's playerbase.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode is available to play in the Private Beta and could be one of the factors pulling away from PUBG's playerbase.

Without immediately checking the numbers on other battle royale games at current, it’s difficult to say whether PUBG’s sub-one million player count on Steam is the direct result of these aforementioned various factors or simply a waning interest in battle royale as a whole, but it is notable to see the game which was once easily toppling high-ranking standards on Steam wane. It will be interesting to see what actions, if anything, the PUBG Corporation, Bluehole, Microsoft Studios, and Tencent take in response to the decline.

Want to see what’s coming next in PUBG? New datamining suggests C4, a new snow map, and a fresh vehicle are on the way at some point in PUBG’s future.



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