“Nobody plays that game anymore” is usually a tired attack on a game that may not be what it once was, but still has a reasonable number of players. It may not be thriving, it may not be as huge as it used to be, but you can usually still log in and find someone, somewhere. It just might take a while.
That’s not the case with some online games. On a whim, I decided to look at the lowest-rated free-to-play massively multiplayer games on Steam and cross-reference their player numbers on SteamCharts. And I found that sometimes, yes, it is literally true that “nobody plays that game.”
Here’s maybe the highest-profile (relatively speaking) F2P game I found while scraping the bottom of the barrel on Steam: Otherland. It was in development for years! We even did a First Look on it! That video has over 50,000 views, which is about 250 times more than the game’s peak population, which was reported at 200 back in its launch month of September 2015.
Even that tepid total would be phenomenal today. According to SteamCharts, the game’s peak population in the last month was 10 players, with an average online concurrency of less than two. So there are undoubtedly times when nobody is actually playing Otherland. For people who loved the novels, that’s a Tad tragic.
If you really want to dig deep, though, to find the dead-est F2P MMO on Steam, then you need go no further than Garlock Online. The 22% positive review rating should be enough to make you stay away, but if it isn’t, how about this: According to SteamCharts, Garlock Online had a player … in March. That’s it for 2017. One. Player. Six months ago. Suddenly, LawBreakers doesn’t look so bad.
The game is still listed on Steam, and it looks like you can download it, so it’s probably not shut down. I thought about downloading it and trying it myself, just to see if that was the case, but I didn’t want to mess with the purity of that one player from March. I’ll let him or her enjoy that achievement.