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Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds passes GTA 5 for most concurrent players on Steam

Going to be a while before it takes on Fallout 4

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Online multiplayer survival game Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds cleared a huge milestone over the weekend when it surpassed Grand Theft Auto 5 to become the fourth most-played game on Steam according to Steam Charts.

Fed by publicly available information from Valve’s own Steam Web API, Steam Charts is a real-time estimation of the number of users playing games at any one time. GTA 5, with a thriving online community and healthy mod scene, has been a lock in the top five for years.

But Steam Charts also keeps track of peak player counts for each game, and ranks them in an all-time top 10. The current all-time peak player count for GTA 5 is 360,761, achieved in April 2015. That’s about a year and a half after the game was first released on consoles, and the same month it came out on PC.

Battlegrounds hit 382,561 just four months into early access. With that kind of velocity Bluehole’s hit game is in a league of its own.

Stuck at number three on the all-time peak players list at Steam Charts is Fallout 4, which hit 471,955 players at launch in November 2015, meaning Battlegrounds has fewer than 100,000 concurrents to go before it overtakes it. After that things get much harder, with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sitting at more than 850,000.

We’re likely to see a big bump in players this week or next as Battlegrounds rolls out its next monthly update, which will include a new first-person only mode. Development has been slightly delayed, and the game is now set to exit early access by the end of the year.

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