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Half-Life hits 14K concurrent players with 25th anniversary update

Counting to 25 is easier than three, apparently.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

November 17, 2023

1 Min Read
Gordon Freeman in the box-art for Valve's Half-Life.
Image via Valve.

The original Half-Life received a new update and a large spike of players for the classic shooter. Per SteamDB, the game's concurrent player count has hit a new peak of around 14,300, up 16.4 percent from last year's 12,280. 

Half-Life is 25 years old as of this Sunday, November 19, and Valve marked the occasion with an anniversary update. Along with bug fixes and new graphics settings, the update gives Half-Life official Steam Deck support and introduces more multiplayer maps. 

Half-Life history

As its debut title, Half-Life's legacy hangs over Valve's. It didn't release a sequel until six years later, with 2004's Half-Life 2That itself was expanded on with a pair of episodic adventures and the spinoff series Portal, and most recently the 2020 VR game Half-Life Alyx.

The update also features Half-Life Uplink, previously a CD exclusive for magazines and hardware manufacturers back in the day. "As this was many people's first experience with Half-Life, we thought it was finally time to bundle it with the main game," Valve explained. 

Finally, Valve released a 25th anniversary documentary made in collaboration with Secret Tape that has Half-Life's developers reminiscing on their time making the game. The one-hour documentary covers its physics technology, level and sound design, and the post-release aftermath. 

Years ago, Valve said it would never unveil the full history of Half-Life's development, but this documentary might be the next best thing. The full list of additions in the 25th anniversary update can be read here.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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