ACC Playercount Round up/Catch up: July – Nov 2020
Earlier this year, I wrote articles detailing the playercounts of Assetto Corsa Competizione. Due to a variety of reasons (limited time being the primary) I stopped writing those. However, I never really abandoned the thought of diving into the playercounts of Assetto Corsa Competizione to try and discern trends, whether positive or negative. So here we are with a round-up of five months. July, August, September, October and November. If you feel the need to catch up, this is where I left off: June’s round-up.
In this article I will analyze the playercounts from Assetto Corsa Competizione using data from both steamdb and steamcharts. I implement these into my own spreadsheets, making my own easy-to-read (I hope) graphs.
June was a month of slight decline, albeit with a lot of consolidation. July didn’t start much different with numbers averaging around 3000 peak concurrent players. July did have one BIG ace up its sleeve: the release of the long-awaited GT4 DLC on July 15th.
As you can see in the graph above, the peak player count soared to a height never before seen in this game. Eventually, the peak playercount topped out at 5593 players. This meant we, the players, finally beat the peak concurrent record set on release. By quite a margin too, since the previous record was 4199 peak concurrent players.
The sudden influx of players made for a flurry of activity the first few days after release. You can clearly see how quickly the hype died down again, as in two weeks time the peak playercount was back to pre-GT4 levels of activity.
Still, the month averaged out on 3316 average peak concurrent players, beating the previous highest month (May 2020) by a slight margin (15). The average player count (1585) was slightly lower than May’s record (1615).
August was another month of consolidation, as the game struggled to retain 3K peak concurrent. The trendline in the graph above shows a steady decline from ~2800 to ~2600 over the full month. There were no (major) updates to help boost the playercount.
The warm summer evenings certainly didn’t make things much better. I, and probably a lot of people like me, found racing to be a very sweaty ordeal this time of year. Instead, I opted to play less physically intense games or to spend my evenings outside. In talking with my peers, I confirmed my suspicions in that I was not alone in this regard, thus we shouldn’t put any big consequences towards these relatively low numbers.
Numbers which were astronomically high if they were half a year ago. Funny how quickly you move the goalposts, isn’t it?
The monthly average was 2685, which means a decrease of 631 over July. It’s still 495 more than we had in March (2190). Average players went down from 1585 to 1300. This probably means that, relatively, people played more in non-peak hours*. It being summer holiday in most countries helps this hypothesis.
*either that or the Aussies/Americans started playing significantly more, but I doubt that is the case without region-specific DLC being release.
September was another month of remarkable consistency. And more importantly, contrary to August, with a slight upward trend (~2950 to ~3050). Two minor updates were released, 1.5.6 (September 10th) and 1.5.7 (September 24th) but those did not leave any significant peaks on the graph. I myself was out on holiday for most of September. Apparently, I didn’t miss much.
The average peak player count for September was 2985, exactly 300 higher than August. The average player count rose decidely less, from 1300 to 1350.
This leads me to conclude the growth in players was mostly in peak hours because the summer holiday is now officially over. People needed to once again do their racing after school/work hours, boosting the peak playercount just a little bit more.
October’s graph shows a great upward trend in peak concurrent players. Helped by the Halloween-sale in the final week of October, the trendline grows from ~2950 to ~3500 peak concurrent players. Disregarding the final upswing, the peak playercount seemed to be slightly growing of itself.
What also helped was a minor update to the game. No, not 1.5.8 on October 5th, but 1.5.9 on October 29th. 1.5.9 brought a lot of Special Events for us simracers to sink our teeth into. I think that definitely created the peak on October 31st because for the first time in a (very) long while, the game finally gave you a mission to work towards.
Another reason for more players is the fact that COVID-19 is having a renaissance right now, with lockdown rules getting once again tighter in most places. People are now forced to stay inside by virtue of restaurants, cinema’s and bars being closed – giving them more time to play ACC.
The average peak concurrent rose to a total of 3220 players, while the average playercount rose to 1430. This seems consistent with the numbers in August and September.
November was a cracking month. It builds upon the momentum gained in the final week of October. Not once did the peak concurrent drop below 3500 players. Furthermore, a more-or-less surprise DLC featuring the 2020 season (sans Magny Cours, merde!) dropped November 18th. The release of this DLC triggered an even higher record peak concurrent players: 5759.
What’s more interesting is that, unlike previous DLC releases, there isn’t a real two-week drop of concurrent player peak count. An explanation for this could be the Autumn sale, which runs through December 1st.
This all has led to the average peak concurrent players to peak to 4314 players, while the average player count rose to 1928.
2020 so far…
This brings us to now. Let’s look at the overview for the 2020 playercount;
Here we can clearly see the peak playercount develop. From the low beginnings averaging at 1500, the IGTC-DLC peak, the v1.4 peak, the GT4-DLC peak, and lastly the 2020-DLC peak. With only one month to go for 2020, it looks like ACC will triple its average peak playercount within the year. That is quite something for a videogame to achieve. For comparison: AC(1) only doubled its peak playercount in the same timeframe.
Eliminating for any weekend peaks and monday dips, the weekly average chart above gives a more clear picture of the rise in popularity ACC is having. Yes, the summer showed a bit of a slump, but now with the second round of COVID-19, the new DLC and the new Special Events, ACC is once again in a healthy, growing place.
With the British GT DLC still in the pipeline and who knows what else, 2021 could be ACC’s year. I only hope that Kunos can keep this momentum going for another year. It is not realistic to hope for unending growth and at some point, ACC’s popularity will fade in favor of the shiny new toy. I just hope that moment will be far away in a distant future.
That reminds me, I have one graph left to show you still:
This one shows the monthly concurrent player peak averages and the player averages from the very first Early Access release, over 2 years ago, until now. This clearly shows the long way we’ve come as a community, starting out with a meager but loyal playerbase.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this write up! If so, please consider sharing it with your favorite discord community!