Baldur’s Gate 3, the Dungeons & Dragons-based role-playing game from Larian Studios, hit a peak of 814,666 concurrent players on Steam on Sunday — the ninth-highest count ever recorded on the platform.
According to SteamDB’s figures, Baldur’s Gate 3 stormed the all-time Steam charts over the weekend, displacing Apex Legends from the top 10. Despite the fact that it’s been available in early access form for years, the game’s proper launch on Thursday rode a wave of excitement and discussion that had swelled dramatically in the preceding weeks.
The scale of the game’s success has surprised Larian. The Belgian developer has an ardent following for its detailed, specialized, highly traditional RPGs in the Divinity series, but the studio has never enjoyed so much attention before. “Probably should stay away from the IT team for a while - told them they should expect like 100k or so at max,” Larian’s founder and CEO Swen Vincke said Friday on Twitter, as Baldur’s Gate 3 cracked 500,000 concurrent players on Steam.
Notably, Baldur’s Gate 3 is now one of four paid, single-player games in Steam’s most-played top 10, alongside Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring, and Hogwarts Legacy. The rest of the chart is composed of free-to-play multiplayer games. All four of these premium, solo games launched on Steam in the last three years — three of them in the last 18 months.
They will likely be joined by a fifth on Sept. 6, when Starfield is released. Larian brought Baldur’s Gate 3’s Steam launch forward by a month specifically to avoid a clash with Bethesda’s sci-fi epic, a decision that seems to have paid off handsomely. The PlayStation 5 version, meanwhile, was delayed a week to the same Sept. 6 date, where it should make effective counterprogramming for players unable to delve into Bethesda’s Xbox console exclusive.
But Xbox players may have to wait until 2024 to play Larian’s sleeper hit. That version is delayed until Larian can get split-screen co-op working on the lower-spec Series S console — a “huge technical hurdle,” according to Michael Douse, the studio’s director of publishing.