The Escalation update is proving to be very popular with PlanetSide 2 players — so much so, that it broke the game’s own world record for largest online FPS battle. Maybe.
Back in 2015, Daybreak Game Company organized a huge battle on the competitive Jaeger server that played host to 1,158 players at once. That got it enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records for Most Players Online in a single FPS battle, breaking the 999 mark held by Man vs. Machine back in 2012.
This weekend, Executive Producer Andy Sites tweeted out that a battle on the Cobalt server, on the continent of Esamir, broke that record, with 1,283 players participating in a battle that was being streamed at the time.
Nice work @TheSpiffingBrit – the map you're on right now (Esamir) currently has 1,283 players in battle with you. Which just casually shattered our previous Guinness World Record of 1,158 we set back in 2015 – https://t.co/LD3kwlSi6m https://t.co/WWUxqlpiFi
— Andy (@AndySites) March 28, 2020
Here’s where the caveats begin, however. Guinness Records aren’t just “casually shattered” — not without a representative from Guinness there to acknowledge and verify the attempt. That’s not to say that Sites is lying about the number of players, but the earlier attempt was a staged event, where all 1,158 players coordinated things to be in battle together. Were all 1,283 players this weekend on Cobalt/Esamir “involved” in a battle? Or was he just reading off the number of players online at the time, players who were probably ranging all over the continent?
This site indicates that Cobalt recently peaked at 3,124 players, possibly during this weekend’s engagement. That covers all continents, not just Esamir, but other servers have had higher peaks, such as Cobalt itself in August 2015 (3,330), Miller in May 2016 (3,926), and Emerald in May 2016 (3,456). It’s likely that, at least for a while, one continent on those servers had more than 1,283 players online at once, spread across the map, so I wouldn’t call this weekend’s results “record-shattering,” at least not in an official capacity.
Still, it’s a fantastic resurgence for PlanetSide 2, as can be easily gleamed from its numbers on Steam Charts (which also shows higher overall player counts pre-2015, when the other site began its tracking, casting further doubt onto this weekend’s “record”). That shows an increase of more than 60% in March, and that’s on top of a nearly 70% increase in February, before Escalation was released. It might not be breaking records, but it’s still enjoying an amazing resurgence, with an update that’s proving very popular with players both old and new.