BattleBit Remastered, the low-poly, massively multiplayer shooter perhaps best described as Battlefield by way of Roblox, has sure shifted a lot of copies since it became a viral sensation a couple of weeks ago.
BattleBit Remastered launched into Early Access on Steam on June 15th, and is quickly approaching two million sales in the two-a-bit-weeks since, according to a recent interview with coder SgtOkiDoki over on How to Market a Game.
Behind BattleBit’s incredible figure of 1.8 million sales is the game’s explosive success on Steam, which saw it rocket to close to the top of the PC marketplace’s best-seller chart soon after its launch – beaten only by the stalwart Counter-Strike: GO. That comes alongside a whopping concurrent player count of 87,000 people, with more than 56,000 currently playing (as per Steam Charts) as I write this story.
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While those numbers look impressive – and they are impressive – SgtOkiDoki offered a more sobering take on BattleBit’s road to success, which revealed it to not be quite the overnight success it seems.
The game’s three-person dev team first announced it as a Steam Greenlight title over six years ago, running weekend playtests to help refine the layout of its maps and weapon balancing.
Around 2018-2019, the team decided to shift the game to a more arcade-like feel, feeling that its low-poly appearance gave players a false sense of its gameplay – which at that point was a more simulationist approach like Arma. (The interview notes that if players jumped too high, they could break their legs, before needing to inject morphine to overcome the injury. Heavy.)
“If the screenshots don’t match the gameplay you have a problem,” SgtOkiDoki said. “Our game played like Squad but looked like Roblox. That was a terrible move.”
By 2020 – four years into development – the game saw 100 concurrent players for the first time, while still running weekend tests. It would take another two years for the game to start gathering real momentum, seeing its followers on Steam accelerate from single-digit thousands to over 50,000 by the end of 2022.
By the time the game’s launch rolled around in June 2023, it had reportedly added to over 800,000 wishlists on Steam, setting the £12/$15/€15 title up for its current runaway popularity. Even so, it’s clear that it took a lot of time and effort to get there – to the degree that even its creators wouldn’t recommend using it as an example to follow for hopeful devs.
“If you are planning to make a multiplayer game, don’t! I am not going to lie, don’t,” SgtOkiDoki said. “Make a single player game (if this is your first game). It is very trying.”