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Horizon Forbidden West has half the Steam players the first game did

Launching alongside Dragon's Dogma 2, Horizon Forbidden West's PC edition has been a bit overshadowed compared to its predecessor.

If you forgot that the former PlayStation 5 exclusive Horizon Forbidden West was launching on PC this week, it would be hard to blame you: right now, the big story is Dragon’s Dogma 2. Despite the technical issues PC players have been facing in Dragon’s Dogma 2, it’s managed to overshadow Forbidden West, which has arrived on PC in a much more polished state.

In fact, Horizon Forbidden West has peaked at just half of what its predecessor, Horizon: Zero Dawn, peaked at when the open-world game first launched on Steam in 2020, topping out at just over 25,000 players on launch day compared to Horizon Zero Dawn’s 56,000.

There are a few possible explanations for this, and none of them are that Horizon Forbidden West is bad. On the technical front in particular, this appears to be a strong PC port, as Hardware Editor Samuel Willetts reports.

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However, when Horizon Zero Dawn launched on PC in 2020, it was part of the very first wave of recent PlayStation exclusives to make the jump to PCs, and there was a lot of excitement about finally being able to play these games on Steam. Since then, we’ve seen more and more ports of PlayStation exclusives, including Days Gone, God of War, The Last of Us, and Final Fantasy VII Remake, and so that novelty is no longer at play.

The second factor at work here is the 800-pound gorilla sitting in this week’s launch schedule: Dragon’s Dogma 2. With both Forbidden West and Dragon’s Dogma 2 being lengthy, open-world single-player games, it’s likely many players opted to buy only one game and went with the one more people were talking about.

Finally, Forbidden West is a sequel that picks up after the events of the first game – which means most players are probably going to want to play and finish Zero Dawn before embarking on Forbidden West. If you’re like me, the launch of Forbidden West has mostly served as a reminder that you still need to complete the first game.

It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances, and a difficult one to avoid as the yearly release calendar keeps getting more crowded – and it’s a phenomenon Titanfall fans will remember all too well.

If you’re thinking of heading off on Aloy’s next adventure, be sure to check out the Horizon Forbidden West system requirements. You also may be wondering about the Horizon Forbidden West Steam Deck compatibility, and we’ve got you covered there, too.

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