Baldur’s Gate 3 has achieved a whopping 800,000 concurrent player total on Steam, just days after it launched out of early access. The game is currently battling the ever-popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for dominance, charting at #2 on SteamDB’s overall most-played games, ahead of multiplayer hits like Dota 2, Rust, Team Fortress 2, and Apex Legends.
It’s an impressive achievement, and it seems to have taken even developers at Larian Studios by surprise. ‘Probably should stay away from the IT team for a while,’ developer Swen Vincke wrote on Twitter. ‘Told them they should expect like 100k or so at max.’
The game has performed considerably above these expectations, with players flocking to the single-player adventure in droves – despite late review code meaning few critical reviews to drive casual interest.
As of writing, three days on from launch, Baldur’s Gate 3 has reportedly achieved a player peak of 814,666 – a total that places it at #9 in the all-time worldwide charts above Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Terraria, and Valheim, and below games like Elden Ring, Dota 2, and Cyberpunk 2077.
It’s hard to definitively attribute this success to one factor or another, but there are many possibilities to consider. The desire for more single player, story-driven RPGs is notable – but there’s also much to be said about Larian Studios’ approach to developing the game.
Baldur’s Gate 3 first launched in 2020 as an early access title, with strong feedback from players allowing new developments and tweaks over a number of years. Early access was an opportunity to involve the RPG fan community, but also to ensure a polished, well-rounded experience for those keen to wait for the final adventure.
Given social media impressions, much goodwill has also been sent Larian’s way on the basis of its approach to microtransaction-free gameplay. ‘We believe in providing a complete and immersive gaming experience without the need for additional purchases,’ the studio wrote on its website. ‘Enjoy the game to its fullest without any additional costs or microtransactions.’
Whether the game’s success was inspired by this unique approach or not, it’s clear to see Baldur’s Gate 3 has found its core audience. As the game grows in popularity, it’s very likely it will continue to smash records.