Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlords Already Has The Largest Steam Release So Far Of 2020

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlords Already Has The Largest Steam Release So Far Of 2020
Credit: TaleWorlds Entertainment via YouTube

Granted, Half-Life: Alyx would have crushed it if it wasn’t exclusive to wildly expensive systems, but that ship has already sailed.  Mount & Blade II: Bannerlords is officially the biggest release thus far of 2020, with over 178,000 users all diving into the newest foray from TaleWorlds on day one, over a decade after its predecessor released. Add on to that the fact that Mount & Blade II is a game that has entered Steam in the Early Access program, and it’s a bit more than merely ‘surprising’.

It’s unprecedented that an Early Access title reaches 178,000+ users within twenty-four hours of release.  I can’t find any other title on Steam that launched in the EA program boasting those numbers in its first 24 hours of its life; many titles have a slow burn as word of mouth begins to spread throughout internet forums.

To be fair, not many other games are working on the sequel for eight years straight with almost nothing shown to expectant users; the developer blogs tended to be a bit dry, showing small snippets (vertical slices, as they’re known in the industry) of various mechanics that users would then have to piece together to grab a more comprehensive view of the title at large.  Eight years of waiting, and it seems to have paid off for fans and developers alike.

The title currently sits at 85% positive with 12,550 reviews; the vast majority of the negative reviews are reflecting the Early Access status; broken mechanics, crashing, and other ugly bugs that can show their heads during the early part of the Early Access program.

An interesting few reviews state an apparent absence of mechanics that they imagined would be in Bannerlords. Feel free to re-read that sentence until the sheer weight of it seeps in.

It’s worth noting that crashes to desktop are infuriating many; which makes sense, they’ve waited a decade for it to release, they’re on the cusp of tasting it, and then it crashes to desktop.  It’s maddening, fairly so.  Some are reporting that the title won’t launch; it seems to be tied to using an AMD processor and Nvidia graphics card in tandem; a strange problem that TaleWorlds has not yet commented on.

Regardless of how you ultimately may feel about what Bannerlords looks like currently in its Early Access, or what side of the fanboy fence you opt to sit on, numbers don’t lie.  Bannerlords is already a smash hit, and they’re just starting their second day.

Note: Yes, it’s bigger than DOOM Eternal by a large margin; DOOM Eternal currently has an all-time peak of 84,865 that occurred on launch day.  Bannerlords more than doubled it.