It’s not very often that a game comes out and breaks all previous records in its genre. However, that is exactly the feat that Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has succeeded. Since its release on January 19, the free-to-play card game has effortlessly become the number one card game on Steam, with as many as 255,207 concurrent players.
For comparison, that number is double the previous record holder Prismata and four times the maximum for the Artifact Classic made by Valve. However, neither of those games currently have a large following, and if you only take today’s player numbers into account, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has between 10,000 and 16,000 times the number of players.
However, this game is not only a big hit compared to card games. Yu-Gi-Oh! it has actually achieved one of the biggest releases of the last 12 months and is only about 1000 concurrent players behind the peak of Halo Infinite.
Now, it is unlikely that the Yu-Gi-Oh! will be able to maintain these numbers. As stated above, its predecessors Prismata and Artifact Classic have had big drops since their heyday. However, if the team behind Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel can maintain a constant flow of content, the free game can keep most of its players engaged for a long time.