Team Fortress 2 recently reached a new high of 150,000 gamers on Steam.

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According to developers, the majority of them were not bots.

 

Team Fortress 2 had 151,253 concurrent players on Steam on Friday evening. After a few hours of hovering around the 150k mark, it cooled off to about 130k over Saturday, before climbing back up to 150k last night. Pretty impressive stuff for a 14-year-old game.

TF2 need no introduction, unless you’re a gamer who was too young to play it when it was at its peak. If that describes you, now is your chance: welcome to the TF2 renaissance. (For example, in 2011, we announced with much excitement that TF2 was going free to play, making us a genuine pioneer.)

Bots have always been TF2’s main problem, and the reactions to the dev’s self-congratulation (below) on crossing 150k proclaim that a large percentage of the 150k aren’t actual players. True, many players abandoned the game due to the bots and are still bitter about it. But the increase in popularity isn’t due to more bots; in fact, it’s the reverse…

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On Wednesday night, Valve updated the game with some new cosmetics and some serious bot countermeasures. The recent peaks can probably be attributed to players wanting to check out if the bots are gone or not.

The verdict seems to be yes, the bot population has shrunk a lot. Although if you go looking for them, you can still find some servers with the same human-to-robot ratio as the planet Mars.

TF2’s popularity is unlikely to last indefinitely, considering that it has previously peaked at 150k and subsequently fell down to its 100k average. Its Twitch viewership has been basically dead this year, indicating that the game is not currently drawing new players. However, this is always subject to change.

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