Unless you’re a gamer living out your life in an underground bunker…
I’m sure you’ve heard of the widely celebrated Steam survival title Valheim. For those who have not, today, we retrace the footsteps to one of 2021’s most heartwarming success stories. Better buckle up. You are in for a survival sensation!
Without wishing to state the obvious, Steam store’s survival genre isn’t short on titles. In fact, for the most part, it’s an oversaturated scene. Meaning, causing a big splash, and carving a name for yourself can be doubly difficult.
Especially true for indie-developers who lack the monetary muscle and financial backing of big-time publishers.
In many ways, that’s what makes Steam survival title Valheim such an impressive game. Since its launch, Valheim has taken the industry by storm. In turn, stunning players, and pundits alike with its rapid rise to the top, in little to no time at all.
A remarkable release, culminating in over 2 million concurrent players early on its life cycle. That is no small feat, and Valheim continues to steamroll the competition. Thus, shattering existing platform records in the process.
But before we further explore its insane achievements, a little backstory. What is Valheim, and who made it? Here is the inside scoop.
What is Valheim?
Developed by Iron Gate AB and published by Coffee Stain Publishing, Valheim is a Viking-inspired open-world game with survival systems. Set against a procedural, forever-shifting landscape, players can build and battle their way through purgatory.
In short, Valheim caters to teams of up to 10 players with an online coop option while offering dedicated servers for more private personal play. On top of that, Valheim comes equipped with a flexible base-building system alongside a versatile crafting mechanic.
That’s not all. Additionally, the ability to build ships, sail the seven seas and summon primordial beasts in line with Norse lore makes it an irresistible elixir for many fans of open-world survival games.
Having sunk many hours into the game already, I can certainly see what all the fuss is about.
Valheim’s current achievements
A gaming sensation of the survival genre in every sense, the success of Steam title Valheim cannot go unmissed. Get ready to have your brain blown into oblivion and back. Seriously.
By week one, Valheim had already eclipsed one million sales in a Steam Early Access state, which is insane in itself. Even then, so early in its infancy, Valheim had amassed over 160,000 concurrent users.
Fast forward in time, a week later, just 13 days into its launch, and Valheim had already doubled its concurrent user tally, having reached the massive milestone of 360,000 players.
Thanking its player base for their continued support, Iron Gate AB released a PR statement on the Steam store, where they disclosed the following:
“We wanted to start by sharing a giant troll-sized thank you! In just 13 days Valheim has been purchased by over two million Vikings, and this weekend we reached a new peak concurrent player milestone of 360,000!!”
That is some impressive statistics right there. But before we had time to place these numbers into context, even more milestones were achieved.
This time around, Valheim had done the unthinkable. By February 19, 2021, the studio announced it had sold 3 million copies. Even more impressive, though, was the grand total of 60,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews.
As a result, Valheim earned 78th spot on Steam’s top 250 best-reviewed games of all time. What a win!
Further solidifying its success, Valheim surpassed Dota 2, CS: GO, and Minecraft as the 7th most streamed game on Twitch. But the best was yet to come.
How Steam survival game Valheim is making history
By all accounts, Valheim is a monumental achievement whose tale of success demonstrates the underdog’s ability to beat the odds and surprise us all. At least occasionally.
Using Steam store’s very own statistics page as a reference point, we can truly discern Valheim’s progress and popularity. So, let’s take a deep-dive into the numbers.
At the time of writing, as of today, Steam survival title Valheim recently reached the epic milestone of 500,000 concurrent players. Which, in relative terms, makes it one of the platform’s most popular titles ever.
According to Steam’s stats page, the only games to topple Valheim’s highest peak number of players for February 22 is, of course, Dota 2 and CS: GO. Two hugely successful titles with well-established player numbers in the millions.
The difference, however, between both the above titles and Valheim is that those mentioned above are free-to-play games. In contrast, Valheim is a paid experience, making its substantial sales numbers and concurrent player base even more impressive.
Adding further context for those that like to contrast and compare, Valheim overtakes the likes of Grand Theft Auto V, Apex Legends, PUBG, Team Fortress, and Rocket League both in terms of “current players” and “peak” turn out.
Considering it has only been out for barely two weeks, the next accolade is even more astounding. According to a recent report by IGN, the game has achieved the record highest player count for a Steam survival game. After reportedly having overtaken Terraria’s all-time record! Despite being barely a fortnight old.
So, what does this mean for the survival genre going forward? Well, to conclude…
The survival game taking Steam by storm
In truth, survival games on Steam have been around for decades. But none have made the kind of immediate impact Valheim has. After all, it already stands as one of Steam’s most successful releases ever. Better still, its burgeoning popularity is only forecast to continue in an upward trajectory.
It makes you wonder where it will stand in the statistics once 2021 comes to a close. But more importantly, above all else, Valheim shows how strong the survival genre still is when developers get the formula exactly right.
All in all, I hope Valheim’s success on Steam will be a stepping stone for other lesser-known developers to take center stage. Who knows? Your project could take off in much the same way as Valheim.
More games of this quality, please! I can’t wait to get back into the game.
What do you make of Iron Gate AB’s underdog success story? Is this the start of something special? Or a craze set to expire soon? Come join our Discord community and share your thoughts!