Hellblade 2 on Steam is doing worse than Redfall and Hi-Fi Rush – WGB

By admin May23,2024

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 launched yesterday on Xbox and PC, and was met by a pretty good critical response, although it has dropped ever so slightly from 83 to 82 since I published that article. And yet sadly, it does seem to be struggling to find its footing on Steam.

It’s usually in the first few days that a game will hit its peak and then slowly dwindle down, such as the recent Ghost of Tsushima which managed to overtake God of War to become Sony’s second most successful PC game so far. Of course, some games buck that trend by continuing to grow but those are much rarer.

I say this to provide some context for Hellblade 2’s surprisingly low Steam numbers. SteamDB, which tracks all manner of behind-the-scenes date, shows that Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 hit a peak concurrent player count of just 3,982 at 19:00 UTC on launch day. 24-hours later, its highest peak was just 2,682, a substantial drop-off, although that could be attributed to the reportedly short length of the game.

The original Senua’s Sacrifice: Hellblade which was released in 2017, before developer Ninja Theory was bought by Microsoft and became a member of the Xbox Games Studios family. On its launch, the original Hellblade managed to draw in 5,653 people playing simultaneously. That’s 34% more people than are currently playing the sequel.

Here are the really worrying comparisons, though: Redfall and Hi-Fi Rush. Developed by the now shuttered Arkane Austin, Redfall launched last year and was considered a huge flop. It achieved its highest peak concurrent player count at launch, amassing a meagre 6,124 players who quickly left the game and never returned, hammering home the nail in Arkane Austin’s coffin.

And then there’s Hi-Fi Rush, the critically acclaimed game from Tango Gameworks, another studio was that was recently closed down by Microsoft for nebulous reasons. It was slightly different from Redfall because it grew slightly in its first few days on Steam, achieving its all-time highest concurrent player count of 6,132 four days after it launched. This is probably because Hi-Fi Rush was launched with absolutely no warning, so it took people a couple of days to discover how awesome the game was.

In other words, Hellblade 2’s Steam launch is worse than two games from two studios that were both deemed to not be meeting Xbox’s expectations and shut down because of it. That’s a little worrying for developer Ninja Theory, and falls right into what I was saying in my article discussing Xbox’s Mismanagement and how it could destroy Ninja Theory.

it’s not like Xbox’s games can’t be successful on Steam despite being “free” on Game Pass, either. Starfield managed an impressive 330,723 peak players just a few days after it launched while being on Game Pass as well, although it did have the benefit of a massive marketing campaign and the natural hype of being Bethesda’s new game.

But we need to be fair and keep in mind that a single set of numbers from Steam doesn’t paint a full picture. Hellblade 2 has launched straight onto Game Pass for PC and Xbox. It’s on that service where the vast majority of players will undoubtedly be experiencing Ninja Theory’s newest game. In other words, we can’t use the peak concurrent player count as definitive proof that Hellblade 2 is struggling to find an audience. Still as one of Xbox’s marquee titles, even if their lack of marketing would seem to suggest otherwise, I do think that it’s a worrying indicator worth paying attention to. Redfall and Hi-Fi Rush both launched on Game Pass as well, yet still managed to draw in bigger numbers, and keep in mind that the former didn’t have much hype behind it and the latter was a shadow-drop.

If there’s anything good to be taken from, it’s that the people playing on Steam seem to be having a good time. It’s holding a “Very Positive” user rating on Steam right now, based on just over 1,200 reviews.

What do you guys think? Are the Steam numbers a worrying sign that Hellblade 2 isn’t finding much success, or do you think they are mostly meaningless compared to the Game Pass data we cannot see?

By admin

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