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Bluehole Studios' PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has basically been one the top best selling releases in 2017 so far, managing to outsell multi platform games like Resident Evil 7 and top-rated exclusives like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But it's even more popular than you realized.
In a tweet from the official PlayerUnknown Twitter account, it was revealed that the Battle Royale-inspired survival game is the top played non-Valve game on Steam. It has managed a concurrent active player base of more than 481,000 users at any single one time.
The game is first when it comes to non-Valve games having top concurrent players, and it's third overall behind Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has also managed to outpace Bethesda's Fallout 4 in terms of concurrent players by 10,000 players. Fallout 4 peaked back in November of 2015 with 471,955 players.
As mentioned at the top of the article, sales for the game have been through the roof, with Steam Spy recording a massive 6.1 million owners having been registered between March 23rd, 2017 and July 31st, 2017, which means that the game is selling at a factor of 1.5 million units per month. It's managed to outpace other top-rated and top-selling games such as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which has reportedly only moved 3.92 million copies for the Nintendo Switch from March to July, as reported by Metro.
The developers had announced recently that the game had managed to make $100 million in revenue between March and June, and the game is also scheduled to make an appearance on Microsoft's Xbox platforms as well.
There's really no telling how well Bluehole's game could peak when it comes to sales once it finally makes its way onto Microsoft's Xbox One and Xbox One X.
The single-A title didn't come onto the scene with any sort of major marketing push, but it did offer gamers a very streamlined battle arena survival experience that managed to elevate and evolve the whole Battle Royale concept to the next level. The polished gameplay and ease of use made it an instant magnet for success, and now it's one of the best selling games of 2017 and the most played game on Steam that isn't a Valve title.
Emergent games from the indie sector have been breakaway hits these last few years, but many top-name AAA publishers have yet to dive into the experimentation pool to tap that kind of success, opting instead to play it safe with Hollywood-style blockbusters. You have to wonder if the rapid-fire success of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds will have some publishers rethinking their strategy?