Steam's New #1 Game Sets Impressive Record

Steam has a new #1 game and it's set an impressive record. Most weeks this year, the Steam Deck is the top seller on Steam. This pattern has only been disrupted a few times this year when the likes of God of War came to PC, Elden Ring finally released, and V Rising caught everyone off guard. There have been other games, but the point is it's not common. So, when a new game tops the Steam "Top Sellers" list it's notable. The latest king of Steam is Stray from Annapurna Interactive, which smashed the publisher's record of concurrent players on the PC platform in the process.

According to numbers pulled straight from the back end of Steam, the new indie cat game recently hit 62,963 concurrent players on Steam, making it the 13th most-played game at that moment on the platform. Prior to Stray, the publisher's record was 8,021 concurrent players.

Why is Stray so popular? Well, you play as a cat. In other words, meme culture is partially fueling its success but it's primarily doing so well because it's unique and quite good. On Steam, it has an "Overwhelmingly Positive" User Review rating, with 97 percent of 3,650 user reviews rating the game positively. Meanwhile, over on Metacritic, the BlueTwelve Studio-developed game boasts an 84 rating. 

"Lost, alone and separated from family, a stray cat must untangle an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten city," reads an official description of the game plucked straight from its Steam page. "Stray is a third-person cat adventure game set amidst the detailed, neon-lit alleys of a decaying cybercity and the murky environments of its seedy underbelly. Roam surroundings high and low, defend against unforeseen threats and solve the mysteries of this unwelcoming place inhabited by curious droids and dangerous creatures. See the world through the eyes of a cat and interact with the environment in playful ways. Be stealthy, nimble, silly, and sometimes as annoying as possible with the strange inhabitants of this mysterious world. Along the way, the cat befriends a small flying drone, known only as B-12. With the help of this newfound companion, the duo must find a way out."

In addition to PC, the game is also available on PS4 and PS5. And if you have a PlayStation Plus Extra or PlayStation Plus Premium subscription, it can be played for "free." Meanwhile, there's also a seven-day free trial on PS4 and PS5, no PS Plus required. 

"Stray is easily one of the most unique games releasing in 2022 simply because you get to play as a cat and that's largely how the team behind it has been marketing it," reads the opening of our review of the game. "While there is no shortage of feline-related activities like carelessly walking across keyboards or scratching couches, what most people will likely be surprised by is its depth and how earnest it is in its writing. It's a remarkably beautiful game both visually and emotionally. Within the first few seconds of the game, developer BlueTwelve Studio expertly illustrates the story it will be telling for the following 8 to 10 hours without a single line of dialogue. It's a classic example of show, don't tell. It's just a group of cats watching a rain storm, quietly loving each other, and being a family."