Survival game and newly-minted Twitch phenomenon Rust has once again surpassed its own Steam concurrent player record for the game, eclipsing over 240,000 active users at its peak over the past weekend. Rust, developed by Facepunch Studios, is a survival game that has been around since its early access period in 2013, launching its full release in 2018 and remaining fairly niche for most of its life span since then.
Rust is the latest beneficiary of Twitch's ability to change a game's fortunes seemingly overnight, however, so it's not niche now. Rust is following in the footsteps of Among Us - interestingly enough, another 2018 multiplayer release - in blowing up well after conventional wisdom would suggest. Content creators looking to broaden their multiplayer streams beyond the ever-present Among Us recently began to pick up Rust as an alternative, and the result has been an explosion of interest in the game. Rust is now a regular fixture of many content creator's streams, often featuring collaborations between popular Twitch stars in the same way that Among Us has allowed for months now. Rust's popularity on Twitch streams also translated to an uptick in active users, with the game setting records for its concurrent player numbers earlier in January.
The good news keeps rolling in for Rust, as, according to Steam Charts, the game experienced its best-ever weekend in terms of Steam concurrent player count just a few days ago. The analytics suggest that the game came in just shy of 245,000 active players, peaking at 244,934. For a game that's peak players sat at 97,445 just one month prior, that's an incredible amount of growth, and it's still gaining traction as more Twitch content creators - and as a result, their followers - give the game a try.
For context, despite the fact that Rust's numbers are a huge success for Facepunch Studios, even hovering around the 245,000 mark doesn't make it the most-played game on Steam. As of this writing, CS:GO has nearly 1 million concurrent players, while Dota 2 is over 430,000. The difference, of course, is that the latter two games are Valve titles with a long history of success, and Rust was a middle-of-the-pack multiplayer title on Steam just a few months ago.
Right now, Rust is experiencing the kind of growth most developers can only dream of - but it's also indicative of a pattern that suggests game launches aren't necessarily as important as they were years ago. Of course it's better to experience immediate success with a title, but quality gameplay - and, perhaps, multiplayer as a must - can result in a title getting picked up by content creators months or years later and experiencing a resurgence in interest. That's encouraging for indie devs looking to make quality games in niche multiplayer markets, but it's also worth noting how much of this kind of thing comes down to getting somewhat fortunate, and Among Us and Rust aren't necessarily blueprints to follow for future games.
Despite releasing years ago, Rust from Facepunch Studios has reached new heights of popularity recently. Because of this, many players are flocking to the survival game for the first time. Currently, Rust is only available on Steam, and like many PC games, keybinds are important for creating a smoother gaming experience. In fact, having the right keybinds in Rust can even be life-saving.
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