If at first you don't succeed, patch, patch, and patch again. You might already have noticed, but Cyberpunk 2077 is having a bit of a renaissance this month, on the back of its sweeping 2.0 update and yesterday's release of its (really rather good) Phantom Liberty expansion. In No Man's Sky-like fashion, Cyberpunk seems like it's finally making good three years after its disastrous launch, and hey, it looks like people are taking notice.
According to SteamDB numbers, Cyberpunk hit its second-highest Steam player count ever in the wake of Phantom Liberty's launch, topping out at 246,754 players yesterday afternoon. That's the most people that have played the game simultaneously since the game's launch all the way back in 2020.
Back then, it hit just over a million players, which might make yesterday's quarter of a million seem relatively paltry, but it's worth remembering that Cyberpunk 2077 was subject to one of the most intense hype cycles I've ever seen ahead of its release, and, well, most of us were trapped at home by the pandemic with nothing to do but play games.
These are just the numbers for Steam. If you chuck GOG and the Epic Game Store players in there, they'll naturally be even higher. It's not exactly a shock that a game's player count would jump after an expansion releases, but the sheer number of players jumping back into Night City seems, to me, a vindication of the work CD Projekt has put into righting the ship over the last three years.
Of course, Cyberpunk shouldn't have released in the state it did in the first place, so I shouldn't be too lavish in my praise, but I'm at least glad we live in the world where we finally, eventually got a good version of Cyberpunk 2077 rather than the one where CDP just left it behind to go and work on something new.
As I write this, Cyberpunk is sitting pretty at around 153,000 players on Steam, and it's in the enviable position of Steam's current top-selling game and the platform's fifth most-played game overall. Not bad for a game that originally launched in such a dreadful state that Sony had to remove it from the PlayStation store.