On its second week after launch, Baldur's Gate 3 breaks its own record by peaking at just over 875K concurrent players.
Larian Studios released a certified winner with the newest entry into the now-iconic computer roleplaying game (CRPG) series, Baldur's Gate. Even with hundreds of bugs and glitches that require hotfixes, the launch window of BG3 saw over 500 thousand concurrent players based on Steam data. But it appears the third Baldur's Gate game was just getting started, as it has now surpassed that record and is trending to potentially hit even higher numbers.
According to Steam stats tracking third-party websites like SteamDB, Baldur's Gate 3 set a new peak on August 13, 2023, with 875,343 concurrent players.
This surpasses the previous day's BG3 concurrent player record of 791,966, which is a far cry from numbers within 24 hours of the game's launch which was recorded as 593,788. To put things into perspective, Baldur's Gate is now just behind Hogwarts Legacy's peak (879,308) and less than 100K players away from Elden Ring's peak (953,426).
Also, note that the actual gamers running Baldur's Gate 3 are likely much higher, as these are only the concurrent players using the Steam launcher or through the Steam Deck. It does not include the number of players adventuring through the BG3 quests via GOG. So the total number of players enjoying the game at the same time is likely even higher.
Plus, SteamDB tracked Steam sales for Week 33 of 2023. Baldur's Gate 3 is #1 for the second week in a row, ahead of Starfield and Call of Duty.
#SteamTopSellers for week of 8 Aug — 15 August 2023 (No F2P):
#1 - Baldur's Gate 3
#2 - Steam Deck
#3 - STARFIELD
#4 - Call of Duty®
#5 - Remnant IIhttps://t.co/AmsxEnI4bY
— SteamDB (@SteamDB) August 15, 2023
But with the success of Larian Studios' Baldur's Gate 3 comes some controversy. While old and new fans of the CRPG genre are hailing BG3 to be heralding a new standard for AAA games, other developers and game publishers are calling it an anomaly. Some have gone so far as to say it is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement and it would be unrealistic for gamers to expect the same level of success.
However, the number of players genuinely satisfied with Baldur's Gate 3 tells a different story. Larian Studios sidestepped the usual expectations of other AAA games with microtransactions, releasing titles as piecemeal rather than as a complete game, and focusing more on slow story progress rather than the constant grind. Fans of Baldur's Gate 3 have also heaped praise with the multiple possible approaches and solutions to the game's quests.
One instance even has a player using the human wizard Gale constantly blowing himself up with spells to finish the game as fast as possible. It is a level of freedom that rivals other recent games like Elden Ring and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. This leads to Baldur's Gate 3 offering high replay value with just the base game and without a DLC, which is another trope other AAA games have been notorious for.
To be fair, Larian Studios had the benefit of a sufficient budget and 6 years of development time. They worked closely with Wizards of the Coast to successfully adapt the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition rules and the lore of the Forgotten Realms. Even the dice rolling mechanics for non-combat situations and NPC social interactions are accurate to the tabletop version of the roleplaying game.
Can Baldur's Gate 3 keep up the upward trend and break into the 1 million+ club of concurrent players on Steam?
Baldur's Gate 3 is available through Steam and GOG for the Windows PC platform. A Sony Playstation 5 release is currently set for September 6, with a TBD release for the in-development macOS and Xbox platforms.