Steam broke its concurrent user record twice over the weekend, but it wasn’t any thanks to Battlefield 2042.
Black Friday may seem like just a random sales event in the UK but the whole reason it exists is because of the US Thanksgiving weekend, when most people are at home with their family or… playing video games to avoid them.
Vale reports that a peak of 27,384,959 logged in to the Steam service on Sunday, breaking the record of over 27 million that had only been set the day before.
The most played titles include all the usual evergreens but the biggest selling new game on Steam was Farming Simulator 22, beating Battlefield 2042 and a resurgent Cyberpunk 2077.
Farming Simulator 22 was only released last Monday, which goes some way to explain it charting so highly, but it’s still not what you’d expect to be topping a list of the most played games.
Each to their own though, and it’s certainly clear that PC gamers are not happy with Battlefield 2042, which is now the worst rated mainline entry in the franchise on Metacritic and currently the 18th lowest ranked game of all time on Steam (it was the ninth at one point).
Clearly that’s an overreaction but the PC has always been the franchise’s lead format and fans are upset about the lack of content, bugs, and features that were previously considered standard for the series but are missing from the new game.
EA has insisted that 2042 is actually more popular than Battlefield 5 was at the same point in its life but considering that was pretty controversial itself that’s not really saying much.
The final ignominy is that Farming Simulator 2022 had a higher concurrent player count than Battlefield over the weekend, at 105,636 to 105,397.
At some points during the day on Sunday, Farming Simulator 22 had over twice as many people playing as Battlefield 2042, which is… not what you might expect.
Battlefield 2042 is also available via EA’s own Origin service, which will account for some sales not recorded by Steam, but arguably the real story here is not how badly Battlefield is doing but how popular Farming Simulator has become.
It’s also further evidence that there’s a bigger market for non-violent video games than many publishers seem to acknowledge, with Farming Simulator joining titles such as The Sims and Animal Crossing as proof that relaxing with a bit of busywork can be just as enjoyable as online deathmatches.
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