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After seven years, abandoned Bethesda FPS game is soaring on Steam

Seven years since it first launched, a forgotten FPS game published by Bethesda is suddenly a hit on Steam, proving Quake will never die.

Quake Champions Steam players: A warrior from Bethesda FPS game Quake Champions

Time passes, games come and go, but some legends never die. While the true FPS game heyday of the ‘90s might be far behind us, Doom 2016, Doom Eternal, and small passion works like Dusk and Turbo Overkill are keeping the spirit of the boomer shooter alive. We’re still hoping for a Half-Life 3, and who knows, maybe a new Quake game (more on that later), but for the time being, it’s clear that the classic style of PC shooter still has its devoted acolytes. Originally launched back in 2017, one Bethesda-published FPS has languished on Steam for years now. But it’s suddenly having a resurgence, soaring up the chart on Valve’s store as runners and gunners return for a boom shoot fix. With more than 200% more players than recent averages, this abandoned multiplayer arena FPS is far from forgotten.

Quake Champions was an extremely pleasant surprise when it first landed in 2017. An FPS game in the vein of Quake 3 Arena and Unreal, it capitalized on the huge success of the soft-rebooted Doom by delivering classic, retro-style run-and-gunplay via the incredibly slick, modern id Tech. After a year in early access, Quake Champions went fully free to play, but struggled to maintain a presence thanks to the rise of PUBG, Fortnite, and other shooter rivals like Apex Legends and Valorant. Now, however, it seems to be enjoying a resurgence. Following a substantial update back in February, Quake Champions suddenly has way more players.

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On Wednesday February 28, the Quake Champions concurrent player count dipped as low as 148. Out of nowhere, however, on Thursday February 29 this suddenly spiked to 1,990. As of this very moment, more than 1,500 people are playing Quake Champions all together, making the shooter’s player base 214% larger when compared against the previous 30-day average. In fact, this is the biggest player record for Quake Champions since January 2023.

Maybe there’s some fatigue setting in with sweaty, movement-and-exploit-driven FPS games like Call of Duty Warzone, or maybe there’s some hype building around the mysterious new Quake game seemingly hinted at in a recent video from Indiana Jones developer MachineGames. Either way, if you want to try Quake Champions for yourself, it’s still completely free, and you certainly won’t be playing alone.

Quake Champions Steam players: The Quake Champions Steam player count for the Bethesda FPS game

Alternatively, relive the greatest era of the FPS with some of the best old games, or maybe get a look at the rest of 2024 with all the best upcoming PC games on their way to you.

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