For the last couple of years, the most popular game on Steam has been DotA 2, followed closely by shooter classic, CS:GO. Together they represented the two biggest games on Steam by a long way, attracting some 750,000 and 500,000 (ish) concurrent players every day. However, over the past few months we've seen their status as Steam's most popular games destroyed by a little game called PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
And now PUBG has eclipsed them by an enormous margin. Last night Battlegrounds had close to two million players online simultaneously (1.984 million to be exact). That's more than three times the number of concurrent players on CS:GO and close to three times as many DotA 2 gamers.
Perhaps more impressive is the average stats though, which show 1.2 million people playing away in the battle royale title, while just 400,000 tried to take down each other's towers and cores in DotA 2.
Although Battlegrounds has been on a steady rise ever since its release earlier this year, selling more than 13 million copies and quickly becoming one of the most popular games ever made, its continued ascension is somewhat surprising. It's been hit with a lot of negative press in recent weeks with scandals around its loot box mechanic and optimization issues for some gamers. That lead to its review rating being bombed down to "mixed," and yet its growth hasn't been stymied in the slightest.
It's also seen huge competition from Epic Game's Fortnite, which following its own mediocre release introduced a battle royale mode of its own to cash in on Battlegrounds' success. It's attracted millions of players and yet PUBG is still doing amazingly well.
It's also important to point out that this is a premium, $30 game, despite being in early access. DotA 2 on the other hand, is entirely free and it can't even get close to attracting these sorts of player numbers. Nothing can.
What this appears to be, is the latest step on the ascension of the battle royale game mode as the latest vogue game type. In the late '00s it was COD-like shooters, followed closely after by MOBAs like League of Legends, DotA 2 and Heroes of the Storm. Battle royale games later evolved out of DayZ, H1Z1 and ARK: Survival Evolved and PUBG is the king of that new hill.