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Half-Life: Alyx reaches 43,000 concurrent users on launch day

First Half-Life game in 13 years performs well by VR standards, but hardware restriction is a missed opportunity analyst says

Virtual reality exclusive Half-Life: Alyx reached 43,000 concurrent users on Steam on launch day.

Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad revealed the figures on Twitter, saying the game was a successful launch by VR standards and had already matched Beat Saber's peaker concurrent users.

However, as one of the best-recognised gaming franchises, Ahmad noted it was clear "the numbers are held back due to the VR requirement."

NPD Group analyst Mat Piscatella suggested the VR exclusivity was a missed sales opportunity, despite the game's technical achievements.

Meanwhile, the peak number of Twitch viewers reached 300,000; at seven-times the peak number of players, it's further evidence of how the VR requirement has gated out much of the game's target audience.

Launched yesterday, the latest virtual reality offering is the first Half-Life game in 13 years. While not the elusive Half-Life 3 many fans had hoped for, it has been well-received by critics.

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Latest comments (1)

Colin Parnell Managing Director, Centre VR4 months ago
When Half Life 2 came out, most people needed to go out and buy a much more powerful graphics card that needed certain new features in order to play the game. Is it that much different that the new Half Life game requires a purchase of equipment, just happens to be a display device, not a graphics card. If consumers buy the VR headset (only 400 for a Rift S, a real bargain, similar to the graphics cards costs back then), they then get to to not only play an impressive VR game, but also find out there is a more active and immersive way to play games too. Valve don't need the money, I think, so they are best placed to make the excellent decision to bring HL back in VR only. It is brave, innovative, positive, immersive, amazing, ground breaking, wonderful, and all the things I like to think of when I think of the company and people that bought us one of the best and most inspiring franchises in global gaming history.

I hope and think Valve really don't care about all the lazy and poor people who don't rush out to buy a VR headset. As a VR Centre owner, with 30 VR stations, seeing huge numbers of the publics first time in VR, I usually find its mostly just a built in negative or jealous streak in people that don't want to go down the VR route. Sometimes its people that just cant stand change. This is strange because that is usually the older generation. I think its possibly because VR is so much harder and also more like reality than moving a mouse around. Its harder to be good at consistently and much more physically exhausting too maybe.

I hope ALYX does what we all want it to, to the VR industry. It already has received a lot of attention and been receiving rave reviews. If the supply of VR headsets can catch up with the demand during this trying time, I think it will likely kick start the revolution, in the same way HL 2 started a revolution of graphics card upgrades.
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