Half-Life: Alyx – the latest highly-anticipated instalment of the fan-favourite series – has recorded 43,000 concurrent users on its debut day.
The new game, which is exclusive to Steam for VR headsets including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Valve Index, has already surpassed the concurrent peak for VR hit Beat Saber, and boasted 300,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch, too.
“Half Life: Alyx reached 43k concurrent players on Steam during launch day,” tweeted Niko Partner’s Daniel Ahmad. “Is certainly a successful launch for a VR title and is already as high as Beat Saber VR’s peak concurrent player count on Steam.
“However, it’s clear that the numbers are held back due to VR requirement.”
Half Life: Alyx reached 43k concurrent players on Steam during launch day.
Is certainly a successful launch for a VR title and is already as high as Beat Saber VR's peak concurrent player count on Steam.
However, it's clear that the numbers are held back due to VR requirement. pic.twitter.com/BYXZAOdEoS
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) March 23, 2020
“It’s certainly a great game and a great example of titles needed to grow VR gaming,” Ahmad added. “Number of concurrent Twitch viewers (300k) is 7x the amount of concurrent players, showing that many are watching the game as they likely do not have the hardware to experience it themselves.”
However, while “VR hardware sales have certainly grown since the announcement of the game”, Ahmad opined it was “still a niche platform”.
“It’s no secret that VR right now is hardly self-sustaining. It’s a niche audience inside a niche audience: and it has only a handful of true success stories so far,” wrote MCV Develop’s own Chris Wallace. “Just this year alone has seen both Google and Samsung drop their VR ambitions. The desire for a killer-app when launching a VR platform is obvious, but is that killer app really Half-Life?
“Make no mistake, the franchise is legendary in the industry. But with the last entry, Half-Life: Episode 2 releasing in 2007, it’s hardly likely to have young fans.”