The opposite day, I noticed a sport named Valheim atop the Steam Early Entry gross sales charts, with overwhelmingly optimistic critiques. Polygon seemed to like the $20 Viking-themed survival game, and I believed pals would possibly prefer it, too. I wasn’t able to commit fairly but — I waffled some time earlier than giving it a go. Know who purchased it whereas I used to be making up my thoughts? A million different individuals.

On February 10th, simply eight days after launch, indie developer Iron Gate introduced that Valheim had already sold 1 million copies. 5 days after that, Valheim reached 2 million sales. On Friday February 19th, two days after we initially revealed this put up, it hit 3 million sales.

Listed below are a number of different info you would possibly wish to know:

  • It has now been the second-most played game on all of Steam at one level, forward of each sport save Counter-Strike: World Offensive, and it’s comfortably sitting at quantity three now.
  • It’s already set a top-ten report for concurrent gamers on Steam with roughly 392,000 on Monday, knocking Grand Theft Auto V off that top 10 chart.
  • By Friday, it took the #9 spot with 410,000 gamers, pulling Postal down one rung.
  • It topped the Steam High Sellers record throughout Valve’s Steam Lunar New Yr sale — regardless of having zero reductions.

Screenshot of SteamCharts, taken February 16th.

Screenshot taken February 15th, the final day of the Steam sale.

As PC Gamer points out, Valheim’s trajectory is not like something we’ve seen earlier than.

The closest parallel is maybe PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds which equally got here out of Steam Early Entry, bought oodles of copies throughout Steam gross sales (also without being on sale), set a report for the Steam sport with essentially the most simultaneous gamers (3.2 million) that also stands at present, and kicked off your entire battle royale style that spawned at present’s Fortnite, Apex Legends, Name of Obligation: Warzone, and extra. However even PUBG took months to achieve the type of numbers that Valheim already has now, and that was with a genre-defining, action-packed, nail-biting, streamer-friendly sport that makes for a delightfully tense watch.

Valheim, by comparability, is gradual and methodical. It’s a part of a longtime style of survival video games the place you scavenge and harvest, chop and dig, hunt and pores and skin, then construct higher instruments to do all of it extra effectively time and again. Solely right here, you’re additionally a badass Viking who can (finally) construct fortresses and ships, you’re searching down gods for sport, and also you’re exploring a gobsmackingly gigantic map crammed with idyllic surroundings, charming music, a contact of lived-in thriller, and a few enemies that stomp me convincingly sufficient that I get a slight Darkish Souls vibe out of it. Oh, and if you lower down timber, they fall and hit different issues (such as you) for large harm! That’s by no means going to get outdated.

The sport’s graphics could appear boring at first however will be picturesque, significantly with eye sweet like depth of area, tessellation, and solar shafts.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

As Cass Marshall at Polygon points out, it’s additionally extremely accessible and straightforward to study — I’d satisfied myself that I disliked survival video games because of their sometimes inflexible mechanics, however in Valheim all the things appears to make sense with out pondering too onerous. I don’t must spend ages punching timber to construct some fundamental instruments, there’s no want to amass blueprints (recipes unlock as quickly as you discover new supplies), and I don’t need to painstakingly plan how I would like my home to look earlier than I begin constructing. You’ll be able to immediately demolish a portion of a construction and refund your supplies if it’s not fairly proper.

In reality, constructing is quick sufficient that I’m beginning to construct non permanent ahead working bases earlier than I enterprise into every new space, just like the tiny fort beneath that took all of 5 minutes and I’ve since expanded twice.

It will get actual darkish at night time. Fireplace is a should should you’re planning to remain up.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

There’s no telling how lengthy the magic will final for me or for the sport’s 2 million gamers and counting, in fact. It’s been all downhill for Among Us on PC, which at the moment solely attracts one-tenth of its peak participant rely of 438,000 final September (although it may nonetheless be wildly widespread on cellular).

However I think about word-of-mouth might preserve Valheim going for some time. I can’t wait to strive the sport’s two- to ten-player co-op mode with my circle of pals, and which means extra copies within the wild.

If Valheim does have endurance, anticipate to listen to this sport’s title on a variety of lips within the months to come back. If historical past’s any indication, we’ll quickly see a rush of knockoffs, fake-outs, and makes an attempt to make different video games play extra prefer it, and there could also be a variety of stress on Iron Gate to port the PC-only sport to consoles and telephones as properly.

Replace, February 19th: Valheim has now bought Three million copies and is now has a brand new report for the ninth-most simultaneous gamers at anyone second on Steam.

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