Updated: Kept the numbers up to date. On initial publication the playercount was 450,000.
New World is out now, and it seems players are ready for a new MMO: the game is currently sitting pretty with 520,000 concurrent players, according to SteamDB's numbers. That's a hell of a result for a game that isn't free-to-play, and is basically a big grind. People do love a good grind.
Our own Fraser is currently fishing for his life in the world's early hours (to be fair, he spent ages doing more productive things in the beta). My favourite part of New World so far wasn't when it was blowing up graphics cards, but when it gained a player called 'AmazonOfficial' who went around spouting inconvenient Amazon facts.
We'll keep an eye on the player numbers but just to emphasise: 520,000 and rising represents mainly European servers (The NA servers turned on about 20 minutes ago), and suggests enormous interest in New World—in the short-term at least. It just goes to show that, after all this time, players are still thirsting for the next World of Warcraft. Whether New World will slake them, or is merely a temporary distraction, only time will tell.