Final Fantasy 14 hit a concurrent player count of 47,542 in the last 24 hours, according to SteamDB. That beats its previous record of 41,200, which it set in June of 2020 as players returned for the Shadowbringers expansion (numbers courtesy of SteamDB (opens in new tab)). The thing is, this time those players aren't here because of any new additions to Final Fantasy 14. Endwalker (opens in new tab) won't be out until November. They mostly seem to be disgruntled World of Warcraft players who've followed popular WoW streamers like Asmongold, taking up another MMO while WoW is in a lull.
That peak in player numbers came a day after Asmongold began streaming it to over two million followers. He's not alone, with CohhCarnage recently picking up it up as well. Their viewers, and those of every WoW streamer who grew dissatisfied during the 218-day wait for the Chains of Domination update, have been getting a taste of the best MMO you can play in 2021. So far, they seem to like it.
In the past, all it's taken for Blizzard to win back WoW players is to knock it out of the park with the next update or expansion. Maybe that'll happen again, or maybe FF14 has what it takes to hold onto these new players. I've been reliably informed that it's a critically acclaimed MMORPG with a free trial up to level 60 including the Heavenward expansion.