Half-Life turns 25 this week, and Valve has announced a few surprises to celebrate the occasion. While many were naive enough to expect Half-Life 3, the studio has released the IP’s first game for free.
This free release has been accompanied by a massive update. Using these measures combined, Valve has been able to reinvigorate the franchise, with Half-Life reaching over 16K concurrent players on Steam today.
Why it matters: While the game has always been on Steam, it hasn’t received so much attention before. This resurgence highlights that such measures can be very helpful for breathing new life into games.
At the time of writing, nearly 16K players are active in Half-Life. In the last 24 hours, it broke its own concurrent record.
Previously, the game reached around 10K concurrent players in August 2022. Since then, it averaged approximately 2K concurrent players each month till this resurgence gave it a massive boost.
Aside from making the game free, Valve has released new multiplayer maps, bug fixes, and more for Half-Life. The game is now verified for Steam Deck, days after Valve announced the Steam Deck OLED.
A documentary discussing the creation of Half-Life is also available for fans of the IP to watch as part of this celebration, providing an exclusive look at the game’s history and its development.
Half-Life 25th Anniversary update notes https://t.co/Wad71S2tsl
-4 new MP maps
-Updated graphic settings
-Controller/Steam Deck support
-UI scaling support for higher res
& more pic.twitter.com/wK4eWDsoTs
— Wario64 (@Wario64) November 17, 2023
This update shows that Valve is still quite fond of this IP.
An RTX remaster of Half-Life 2 is also in development, but the long-requested third entry is nowhere to be seen. Still, with Valve more focused on the Steam Deck, its efforts on internal game development could provide some hope for another Half-Life title.
For those interested in joining thousands of players on this exciting resurgence, Half-Life is free to keep till 20 November. Since the game is ancient by today’s standards, most laptops and PCs should be able to handle it without issues, eliminating the barrier of entry associated with PC gaming.
Abiyan is on track to complete his Computer Science bachelor’s degree. His enthusiasm for writing and gaming motivates him to keep readers and gamers updated with the latest information from the industry. In his free time, Abiyan enjoys playing Dota 2 and Rocket League. Abiyan has also been cited in reputed websites such as Kitguru, Comicbook, GamingBible, Eurogamer and Gamingbolt.