WW2 grand strategy game Hearts of Iron IV has just received a new expansion – No Step Back – which brings about a lot of changes that so far seem to elevate the game to new heights. In one respect this is proving literal, because the strategy game has just set a new concurrent player record, according to SteamDB.
Hearts of Iron IV has achieved a new all-time high of 68,019 concurrent players in the period since its launch this week. The previous record was set in February 2019 with 46,806 and, while there have been other spikes since then which have come close, only last night’s release firmly managed to break the record. Even SteamDB’s active figure for concurrent players at the time of writing is better than the 2019 record at 56,988.
While SteamDB doesn’t tell us the whole picture – it doesn’t cover other platforms, for example – even taking this specific slice of information the war game seems to be doing very well right now. It’s already been identified as Paradox’s most popular strategy game, and during the recent Q3 earning calls CEO Fredrik Wester specifically mentioned how Hearts of Iron IV player numbers had been growing since its launch five years ago.
It seems the No Step Back expansion is already doing quite well on the sales front as well:
we are quite close to break a stellaris record internally with NSB sales. @Arheo_ has promised to shave his head if this happens so come help!
— Dan Lind (@podcat_paradox) November 23, 2021
We couldn’t get any further clarification from Paradox on the specifics of this tweet, unfortunately. This expansion marks the last one worked on by former game director Dan ‘Podcat’ Lind, who’s moving on to a new project. We recently talked to Lind regarding his time as game director and HOI4’s first five years. He was replaced by Peter ‘Arheo’ Nicholson, who is the former game director of Imperator: Rome.
Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back is available now on PC via Steam and the Paradox Store.