The First Half-Life’s Concurrent Player Count Has Skyrocketed

The free-to-play effect kicks in.

Story Highlights

  • Half-Life is one of the best PC games out there to exist, having been released in 1998. 
  • The game has recently seen a surge in player count, following a major new update.
  • The first-person shooter is also currently free-to-play until November 20 at 1 p.m. ET. 

Half-Life is as iconic as they come, being one of the pioneers of the first-person shooter business. Aging like no less than fine wine, the game traces its initial release back to 1998—25 years from now—but thanks to a promising new update from the side of Valve that also happens to make the game free-to-play over the weekend, Half-Life has seen a substantial surge in player count at the moment. 

Thanks to the unofficial Steam stats tracker website SteamDB, the classic shooter is clocking somewhere around 30,000 concurrent players on PC. If you take a look at the lifetime player count history, Half-Life’s player base has averaged between 500-1000 users, but as of late, those figures have been massively switched up. Of course, things haven’t been set in motion without a good cause. More on that ahead.

Half-Life on Steam
Half-Life on Steam

For starters, it’s the game’s 25-year anniversary, and to celebrate it, Valve has announced an array of new updates and content making their way to Half-Life. As momentous as this occasion is, the devs have put the cherry on top by making the shooter go free-to-play over the weekend. That means that you can enjoy the title painlessly until November 20 at 1 p.m. ET.  

And this isn’t it either; Valve even took the liberty of documenting the whole process as it got the original band back together for new interviews, going over the first Half-Life as we see it today. The hour-long video ahead dives deep into the minutiae of the matter, and the blog post accompanying it reads, “Getting together after all this time was the perfect opportunity to revisit the game as it existed in its earliest forms.”

YouTube video

To talk about some of the changes you can expect from this revisited version of Half-Life, feel free to get into 4 new multiplayer maps, enhanced graphics settings, UI upscaling for higher resolutions, and, even Steam Deck support, as reported last week. The folks over at Valve also went above and beyond to restore some of the original content associated with the title, including the original Valve logo and a menu reskin. 

Other Content to Catch Up On:

Half-Life was originally released on November 19, 1998, for PC, followed by a port to PlayStation 2 three years later. The game sees a theoretical physicist Gordon Freeman casually going up to work one day, only to be opening up a dimension to an alien world inadvertently. From that point on, the protagonist takes it upon himself to save the world, but ends up getting intertwined in a more complex scenario than he could imagine. 

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Huzaifa, an Online News Editor at, is a video game industry aficionado with a talent for unearthing the juiciest stories for his beloved readers. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science, he dives deep into the abyss of news, meticulously dissecting every tiny detail to serve his audience. When he's not unravelling breaking news, he becomes a master storyteller, conjuring up captivating tales from the depths of his imagination. With a wealth of experience as a Video Game Journalist, he's penned his mighty words for numerous other video game outlets, leaving no video game unturned and no pixel unexplored! Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor of Science in Data Science || Previously Worked at VeryAli Gaming & TheNerdMag || Covered 100+ News Articles

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