It’s not too often that a game comes along and smashes all the previous records in its genre. However, that is exactly the feat which Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has accomplished. Since its launch on January 19th, the free-to-play card game has effortlessly become the number one played card game on Steam, with a high of 255,207 concurrent players.
For comparison, that number is twice as high as the previous record-holder Prismata and four times the high of Valve-made Artifact Classic. However, neither of those games currently has a very substantial following, and if you’re only taking today’s player numbers into account, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has anywhere from 10,000 to 16,000 times the number of players.
Yet, this game isn’t only a massive success compared to card games. Yu-Gi-Oh! has actually achieved one of the biggest launches of the past 12 months and is only about 1000 concurrent players behind Halo Infinite’s peak.
Now, it’s unlikely that Yu-Gi-Oh! will be able to maintain these numbers. As stated earlier, its predecessors Prismata and Artifact Classic have had huge drop-offs from their heyday. However, if the team behind Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel can maintain a steady flow of content, the free-to-play game may be able to keep most of its players engaged for a long time to come.