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More people are playing The Witcher 3 on Steam than when the game launched in 2015

The Netflix series and a hefty sale are renewing interest in the critically acclaimed RPG

The Witcher and Roach in their free-to-download Temerian armor set. Image: CD Projekt Red
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.

This week, more than four years after the game originally launched, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has more concurrent players on Steam than ever before. The news comes from Marcin Momot, global community lead for developer CD Projekt Red. Player data comes courtesy of SteamCharts, which pulls information from Valve’s publicly available API.

Previously the all-time highest concurrent player count for The Witcher 3 came at launch, on May 1, 2015. That’s when SteamCharts says some 92,268 players logged in. As of publication, the new all-time high is 94,601, which was set within the last 24 hours. The role-playing game has also cracked Steam’s top 10, coming in as the eighth most-played game at time of publication.

Other titles in The Witcher series are also seeing a bump. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, the 2008 revision of the original game in the series, also cracked the top 100 most-played games on Steam according to SteamCharts. It’s also at an all-time concurrent peak player count, with well over 12,000 players in the last 24 hours.

It’s a remarkable achievement, no doubt fueled by the popularity of Netflix’s The Witcher series starring Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, Justice League). The spike in players also coincides with Steam’s winter sale, which has The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Game of the Year Edition marked down to $14.99. Full price is normally $49.99.

One person likely more excited than ever about the success of The Witcher video games is Andrzej Sapkowski, the author of the original novels. Last year he demanded more than $16 million dollars in proceeds from the sale of The Witcher 3 alone. His efforts led to the renegotiation of his licensing agreement with CD Projekt. While the terms have not been disclosed, you have to imagine that they’re more favorable than the previous agreement, which Sapkowski says he was “stupid” to sign.