Approximately 22 months ago, No Man’s Sky was left for dead. Hello Games’ magnum opus had an abysmal launch, as all the pre-release promises never lived up to the realities of this functionally-infinite universe. It was boring and tedious, and all the space in the world doesn’t matter if there’s nothing to do.
With this week’s release of the No Man’s Sky‘s Next update, the game is working its way up the charts. It’s in Steam’s top 10 most-played titles at the time of writing, with well over 60,000 concurrent players. It’s currently beating out long-tail mainstays like Team Fortress 2, ARK: Survival Evolved, and Rocket League. People are playing No Man’s Sky again, and that’s kind of incredible when you consider that it felt like nearly everyone mentally sorted this game as an Ultra Disappointment at launch.
It’s an honest-to-goodness redemption tale, as No Man’s Sky is finally the game that people wanted when it originally released. The statistics support its rocky history. According to this Githyp chart, No Man’s Sky peaked at 212,321 concurrent PC players during its August 2016 launch. The numbers plummeted soon thereafter. The game struggled to break 2,000 concurrents nearly every month (save for August 2017 when the Atlas Rises update pushed 19,000 simultaneous players). It was a steep, steep cliff.
The longer you fall, the further you have to climb back up. Improbably, No Man’s Sky is relevant and popular again. Creator Sean Murray says its “one of the most-played games in the world this week,” although we don’t have PlayStation 4 and Xbox One statistics to confirm that. We don’t really need them, though. The fact that it’s getting such a positive reception two years later is proof enough. It turns out that the center of the No Man’s Sky universe is actually an alternate reality where everyone suddenly loves No Man’s Sky.
Steam & Game Stats [Steam]
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No Man’s Sky is really climbing the charts two years after launch