So, yesterday was weird. No Man's Sky sat atop the global top sellers list on Steam at a price of $60 while I sat there endlessly refreshing Sean Murray's Twitter, waiting for the download to begin. It was like it was 2016 again—though No Man's Sky did go on sale for 50% off and this time players could actually see each other in the game.
I wasn't the only one blasting off into the Next expansion: at its peak yesterday, No Man's Sky had 41,861 concurrent players on Steam. Naturally, that's not close to the all-time peak after the 2016 launch, which saw over 200 thousand concurrents. It's still twice as many the Atlas Rises update drew in 2017, which pulled in around 20,000 concurrents, according to Steam Charts (opens in new tab).
With No Man's Sky selling well this week, it's impossible to say how many of these players are trying it for the first time and how many are returning after a break to check out the new features. And of course there are those who have been playing regularly all along. At this moment, No Man's Sky is the tenth most played game on Steam.