As the latest gaming sensation, Valheim is soaring in popularity and even overtaking GTA in terms of concurrent players on Steam.

17:31, 20 Feb 2021

There's a new kid on the block as Valheim has soared to the top of the Twitch charts. Our latest lockdown obsession is Iron Gate AB's Valheim. Since the world was thrown into chaos, and we've hunkered down in our homes, we've seen the likes of Fall Guys: Ultimate KnockoutAmong Us, and Phasmophobia vie for our attention. Even if this trend has died down somewhat, Valheim is still making a stir in gaming circles. As with all the rest, Valheim's new-found success has largely come down to word of mouth.

For those who don't know, Valheim is a Viking role-playing game where you play as a slain Viking warrior. While Norse mythology is split into nine realms, Valheim serves as an afterlife/tenth realm where you're carried by the Valkyries. Valheim has six simple pillars of Explore, Build, Conquer, Craft, Survive, and Cooperate, which go hand in hand with players enjoying the bloody Viking battles of slaying Odin's enemies. 


How is Valheim beating GTA on Steam?

Valheim only launched on Steam on February 2, but in just two weeks, it's shifted some serious copies, topped concurrent players counts, and even been the best-selling game on the platform. Not bad considering it's the first title from Iron Gate AB. Looking closer at the stats, SteamCharts reports that Valheim had a concurrent player high of 391,325 in the past 24 hours. There was the recent buzz that Grand Theft Auto V has had its best year since launch, but with its own concurrent peak of 138,101, Valheim is streaks ahead. 

Looking at the other big competitors, Valheim is also ahead of Apex Legends, and recent golden boy, Rust. It's still a way off being able to topple PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in terms of concurrent players, but they have huge competitive scenes to fall back] on. For as long as we can remember, GTA V has ruled the roost over on Steam, which makes Valheim's meteoric rise all the more impressive.


It took PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds three months to cross the 350,000 mark when it first released in 2017, suggesting Valheim could possibly go on to be the biggest Steam hit of all time. Emphasis on the 'could' part! Then again, haven't we been here before?


Will Valheim continue beating GTA on Steam?

Steam :: Valheim :: Two Million Vikings!
Steam :: Valheim :: Two Million Vikings!

COVID-19 has been a fickle mistress during lockdown, with a new flavour of the week continuing to pop up. Whether it was Fall GuysAmong Us, or Phasmophobia, they've all slipped from the top of Steam. At the time of writing, Valheim is in pole position, while the likes of Rust and Phasmophobia trail behind other newcomers like Little Nightmares II. At least Valheim is off to a good start - having sold two million copies in as many weeks. Perhaps it's the game's release so soon after Assassin's Creed Valhalla was a next-gen goliath, or the fact it's so easy to pick up, but either way, players can't get enough of Valheim


Hoping to keep Valheim in it for the long run, it's being billed as the next big thing on Twitch. Just like Felix "xQc" Lengyel, Imane "Pokimane" Anys, and even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex helped Among Us rise to the top, Valheim can do the same. At the time of writing, Valheim has 131K viewers and is in sixth place as most-watched behind Just Chatting, League of LegendsCS:GOFortnite, and GTA V. Even though Valheim is in its unfinished state, thousands of us have been forking over £15/$20 to play it in early access. Either way, it's potentially a great sign of what's to come. Can Valheim continue to overtake the competition, or is it destined for a fiery Viking burial? Only time will tell.



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