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For Honor’s free offer on PC puts a jolt into Steam player base

All-time high for peak concurrent players seen in past day

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

For Honor, Ubisoft’s third-person medieval multiplayer fighting game (there’s a mouthful), is free on Steam for the next five days. And that offer, announced yesterday, has given its PC player base a huge jolt of adrenaline to a game that had trouble keeping an audience on the platform.

Steam Charts shows a 24-hour peak of 216,499 — which is also the all-time peak on Steam for For Honor since launching in February 2017 — thanks to the free offer. The Starter Edition of the game, normally $15, is free to download until Aug. 27, and those who do can keep the game thereafter.

So it’s not a limited free weekend, like For Honor saw back in May — which also goosed its player base, albeit briefly. That still sent For Honor’s peak to a 14-month high, but nothing like the latest spike. The average player base for the past 30 days — although most of this has come within the past 24 hours, has nearly doubled to 10,073, up from 5,139 in July. GitHyp, a site dedicated to observing data and trends from Steam and Twitch, had findings similar to Steam Charts’, too.

The Starter Edition was introduced back in March. It only comes with three of the original heroes unlocked, customizable and playable. Players also choose one of the game’s three original factions, gaining the remaining three heroes in that faction for play, but they are not customizable. All the other original heroes can only be played in practice mode, and are unlocked with in-game currency. Any heroes added after the game’s launch may be unlocked, but at nearly double the price.

Ubisoft is, of course, hoping that players will bite on the other editions granting more of the good stuff (they’re being offered from $14.99 to $24.99 for a limited time) after trying the game. For Honor will roll out its big Marching Fire update in mid-October, which will add a new faction (the Wu Lin) with new heroes, and a new mode, presenting another incentive to buy in for those players still around.