Gaming

The Witcher 3 shatters old player records after Netflix series release

by Isaac McIntyre
Netflix

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CD Projekt’s action role-playing game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has returned to the top of Steam’s concurrent players chart three years after its initial release, and the new surge is already setting new records for the fantasy title.

Nearly five years ago, The Witcher 3 took the gaming world by storm, with many falling in love with CD Projekt’s open-ended storytelling, immersive world, and the narrative of magic-wielding monster hunter Geralt of Rivia.

Now, just a week after the release of Netflix’s new blockbuster series ‘The Witcher,’ based on the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski—just like the video game is—the 2015 RPG title has surged back to the top of Steam’s player charts.

Even more than just returning to a minor level of popularity, Wild Hunt has blown past even its launch day figures on the gaming platform.

Netflix
Netflix
Netflix's new series starring Henry Cavill has fired The Witcher 3 back into Steam's charts.

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According to Steam’s daily stats, The Witcher 3 hit a peak of 94,651 on December 30. While the new figures don’t dwarf the game’s 92k peak in 2015, it’s practically unheard-of to see a game reaching half a decade in age to have such a resurgence.

This isn’t a shock either, though the game’s community lead Marcin Momot certainly made it clear it was a lovely new milestone for the developers at CD Projekt to hit with one of their major flagship titles.

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The massive spike, which is predicted to potentially crack the 100,000 concurrent player goal over the next week, is mainly down to the new Netflix show, which stars Henry Cavill, and dropped just days before Christmas on December 20.

The new eight-episode show immediately took control of popular culture, stepping into the space left by global mega-series Game of Thrones' disappointing conclusion, which had filled the fantasy slot in big-money television since 2011.

Between the soaring popularity of the series, the fact many United States and European fans are on holidays at the moment, and the fact Wild Hunt has been included in Steam's current Christmas sale for just $11.99, it was a perfect brew of success to carry The Witcher 3 into the charts.

CD Projekt
CD Projekt
The Witcher 3 could hit 100,000 concurrent players sometime this week, for the first time in its history.

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As of the publication of this article, just over 57,000 players are still exploring the world of the Continent, and either discovering or rediscovering the epic war waged in Novigrad, Vizima, and Kaer Morhen.

Even more impressively, The Witcher 3 has already begun nipping at the heels of some of the biggest games Steam has to offer, including Rainbow Six Siege, Destiny 2, Team Fortress 2, and even PUBG and Grand Theft Auto V, to a smaller extent.

The third game isn’t the only one to have earned a tidy little player boost from the series either, with the original Witcher game clocking up 12k in concurrents during the surge. The Witcher 2 also hit around 6,000 players this weekend.

CD Projekt
CD Projekt
Even the series' first two releases have seen a boost in players since the Netflix show dropped.

Basically, it’s a fantastic time to be a Witcher fan, whether you love the novels, games, or now the newly released show.

A second season of the Netflix series has been confirmed and, who knows, maybe the resurgence of The Witcher 3 will push CD Projekt to get the gears rolling for a fourth video game. Maybe, behind the scenes, they already have.