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Back to its Prime: Fallout 76 hits record player numbers, nearly six years after it launched

Irradiated wastelands are back in fashion, evidently

Published: 23 Apr 2024

The Fallout TV show is having a real moment, and that might explain why 2018’s critically mauled Fallout 76 is currently enjoying record-high player counts on Steam.

Amazon Prime just released the first season of its spin-off TV series, appropriately titled ‘Fallout’, to widespread critical acclaim and newfound interest in the games it’s based on.

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Previously, Fallout games were a single-player affair, in which you inevitably played a preposterously powerful supersoldier-meets-diplomat on whom the entire fate of humanity lay, but 76 was a big departure into shared world gameplay which allowed co-op questing and PvP combat.

That came with what you might charitably call ‘teething problems’, like frame rate issues, glitches, spikes in difficulty, and an odd sense that you were exploring a Fallout game whose content had packed up and gone elsewhere.

Appropriately enough for a series that’s all about people hiding away in sealed vaults until the nuclear fallout subsides though, almost six years later it’s enjoying a second wind.

Fallout 76 recently hit a new all-time high, attracting over 73,000 concurrent players in a 24-hour window. At the time of writing, there are just over 33,000 players in-game.

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2015’s Fallout 4 is also drawing in big player numbers, currently sitting ninth in Steam’s ‘most played games’ chart, one spot above Grand Theft Auto V.

We shouldn’t be surprised. We all saw what Drive To Survive did for Formula One’s popularity in recent years, particularly its ability to bring in new fans.

Now all we need is for Netflix or Prime to commission an eight-part series all about the questionable cryptocurrencies we’ve invested in. Only joking - Dodgy Dave down the pub reckons that DaveCoin’s a sure thing, and needs no outside influence to make us millionaires.

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