The Witcher 3 breaks 100K concurrent players on Steam for the first time

We reported over the weekend that more people were simultaneously playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt than were playing it when it first released—which, in case you'd forgotten, was all the way back in 2015. And it's not as if it slouched out the door back then, either: According to Steam Charts, its peak concurrent player count in May 2015 was an impressive 92,268.

That number has continued to climb since the weekend, and today the nearly five-year-old game set another new mark, surpassing 100,000 concurrent players for the first time ever. Breaking into the top five games on Steam is probably out of reach (although I wouldn't count anything out at this point) but muscling past Destiny 2 is impressive enough all on its own.

See for yourself:

(Image credit: Steam)

This sudden resurgence in popularity, as we noted previously, is almost certainly attributable to the success of The Witcher on Netflix, and curiosity about the game has been easy to indulge thanks to ridiculously good sale prices on The Witcher 3 on Steam and GOG, and free time to sink into it over the holidays. (The fact that it's an outstanding RPG is probably a factor too.)

Those numbers will inevitably decline; even if all the newcomers play it from start to finish, an aged singleplayer RPG isn't going to maintain a player base the way a free-to-play game in active development will. But it's a remarkable testament to how far The Witcher has come since we first encountered it as an oddball RPG in 2007—something Lauren dug into recently with a look at how the series' handling of sex and relationships have evolved from the first game to the last. (Trivia bit: The "romance cards" in the initial Witcher release in North America were censored, while those in European nations were not. The release of the Director's Cut edition made the uncensored cards available everywhere.)

The Witcher 3 is back to its usual price on Steam, but on GOG, the Game of the Year edition is still $15.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.