You may have seen a lot of Viking survival game Valheim in the last two weeks and with good reason as the title continues to become more popular as its publisher has revealed that many people are jumping in.
The game has been purchased more than two million times and, over the past weekend, it hit a peak concurrent player count of 360 000.
“Forget longboats, we have now blown a 700+ year old record by boasting the largest Viking population in all of human history. For reference, the previous peak in Viking numbers was set in 1300 AD and was approximately 500,000,” reads the announcement.
To put these numbers into perspective not involving real world history, we can use Steam’s own game stats page. In the last 24 hours Valheim actually peaked again to 392 862, with 217 273 playing right now at the time of writing.
The closest game in comparison is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds which had 389 632 at its peak and 262 549 online right now. While many have talked about the decline of PUBG over the years its still bringing in a lot of people, and for Valheim to achieve similar numbers after being released on 2nd February 2021 is rather impressive.
If you’ve not seen this game before it’s the usual trappings of a survival game with a Norse aesthetic. As to why it’s become so popular there’s any number of reasons, but we have to guess it’s a combination of no big games launching in this genre for a while and the setting which is rather popular right now. After the launch of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and the announcement of God of War: Ragnarok last year it seems that Norse mythology is back in vogue.
“A brutal exploration and survival game for 1-10 players, set in a procedurally-generated purgatory inspired by viking culture. Battle, build, and conquer your way to a saga worthy of Odin’s patronage!” reads the official description of the game.
Valheim is also rather easy to get into given its low barrier to entry. It costs $19.99 (locally priced at R130) with a miniscule install size of 1GB and low system requirements.
The game is only available on PC right now and it’s in Early Access. Developer Iron Gate states that it will remain in Early Access for at least a year.