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Thanks to a fan campaign, Half-Life has just broken its record for concurrent players

This is the year 2022 of the Lord of the Rings, and Half-Life 1 has seen its highest concurrent player count since it launched on Steam 19 years ago.

The Steam stats tracker that you are looking at may have different numbers. Half-Life 1 was played by anywhere between 12,280 and 12,310 players around the globe on August 14. The previous record was 6022. This was during a week in which the game was free to play. It was set for January 2020.

This new record was set in part by Half-Life community players who participated in the #RememberFreeman campaign. YouTubers such as Radiation Hazard and Noclick helped popularize the campaign. It’s a sweet campaign that aims to demonstrate that Valve’s classic 1998 game still has a loyal fan base. This campaign is a stark contrast to the one launched by Team Fortress 2 fans in frustration to force Valve to address the bot infestation that has plagued the game for many years.

The #RememberFreeman campaign follows last year’s “Breaking the Bar,” which saw 16,601 people play Half-Life 2 for at least 30 minutes. I hope that Ricochet will see a quarter million players next year. If we believe, we can achieve it.

This is the lowest number of concurrent players ever since Steam started keeping these records. Half-Life 1 was released in 1998. It was imprinted on unknowable alien relics called Compact discs. It was, as you may recall, very popular. Although it is unlikely that this record represents the greatest number of people who have played Half-Life 1 simultaneously, it is still quite impressive for a 24-year-old game.

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