Valheim? Maybe it’s because my video game tastes are beyond the much-cited mainstream. I might also be too far removed from the Steam community. But actually I deal with video games every day and I’m in a pretty colorful bubble on Twitter too much.
And yet I have from Valheim never heard of anything until a few days ago. Suddenly over two million people are playing it, YouTubers wash it into my timeline and the big media are reporting on sales successes. I don’t know about you guys, but what’s going on? What kind of game is this?
Two weeks – two million players
Valheim is a Viking survival game and it can be said that it is pretty popular right now. The news in the steam hub in Valheim tells a rapid recent story. Two weeks ago there was the launch announcement. The game is actually not published at all. It’s been in Early Access on Steam since February 2nd. A week later, the makers announce “1 million Vikings”. And then yesterday two million buyers. SteamDB reports new peaks in the number of players every day, yesterday’s articles are already out of date. And the current record of 392,862 simultaneous players it will be tomorrow too.
The survival adventure was the fourth most played video game on Steam, behind evergreens like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. This makes it one of the most successful survival games on Steam. Competitors like Rust or ARK: Survival Evolved could not look back on such numbers. Terraria once reached almost 490,000 simultaneous players in May 2020. However, there is still room for improvement for Valheim. The game reached this high point with the release of the last update, not at the beginning.
Survival in procedurally generated Valheim
As a Vikings it is important for you to survive in Valheim. That is the first premise and of course not a bad one for a survival game. On your way to the Palace of the Gods you will meet other players, up to 10 of them can be in a game at the same time.
You fell in battle and the Valkyries brought your soul to Valheim, the tenth Nordic world. This ancient purgatory is plagued by creatures of chaos and ancient enemies of the gods. Your task is to kill Odin’s ancient rivals and bring order to Valheim.
Use your resources and materials to build houses and castles. Build vehicles and ships to conquer lands and lakes. The world around you is procedurally generated. But not only the craft and conquering will occupy you. Mystical beasts are also waiting for you, which you will encounter with a combat system that is designed to dodge and block.
Incidentally, Valheim is being developed by a very small team, exactly five people are involved. It has been working on it for about three years. Looks like there will be growing soon at Iron Gate Studio. Valheim can be found on Steam in Early Access for currently 16.79 euros. The 2021 roadmap provides for four major updates.
The early access trailer for Valheim
via IGN, GamesIndustry, Eurogamer, 4Players, image material: Valheim, Coffee Stain Studios / Iron Gate Studio