THE FINALS has just usurped Call of Duty ahead of Modern Warfare 3 launch
Yet delays to the Ubisoft game have allowed Call of Duty to barricade the gates to the market with nostalgia and fan-requested features, with many now believing that XDefiant has missed its only-ever window of opportunity to usurp Activision's long-standing king.
However, out from the shadows has come THE FINALS, and on the eve of Modern Warfare 3, Embark Studios' newest ever-evolving title has just knocked CoD off its throne and burned down the castle it reigned over.
THE FINALS has just blown Call of Duty out of the water on Twitch
THE FINALS has yet to be fully released, but the imaginative shooter title is already attracting some massive numbers as it airs for one of its last playtests on PC before its launch later this year.
With its glorious ingenuity in fully destructive surroundings (that's how to do it, Battlefield), recent Steam data has found that THE FINALS spent time at number four in the charts for most-concurrent players, only dropping behind Counter-Striker, Baldur's Gate 3, and Dota 2, as reported by Dexerto.
The PC Playtest for THE FINALS saw the Steam numbers on October 31 surge past Call of Duty HQ (including both Warzone and Modern Warfare 2), and Apex Legends, notching up an impressive peak of 222,501 players.
Can THE FINALS rival the FPS giants like Call of Duty and Apex Legends?
The Steam Data has now been adjusted to measure the player counts in Apex Legends after the start of the new season, peaking at 389,513 in the last 48 hours, which reads both ways for THE FINALS; a simple playtest has already amassed two-thirds of the player count for a five-year-old stalwart FPS IP, but also shows that these titles are always able to recapture players when the content updates drop.
In comparison, Call of Duty peaked at 70,755 players on Steam in this timeframe - although it is on Battle.net, too.
For THE FINALS, it will have to deal with both Apex Legends and Modern Warfare 3 - which will probably be the deal-breaker for the CoD franchise - in its release window, who are some of the more loyal gamers in the space.
However, THE FINALS could be the title that finally shakes up the genre when it releases on current-gen consoles too, and this recent PC playtest is only a positive sighting for Embark Studios.