In context: Aliens: Fireteam Elite was supposed to be the Xenomorph shooter game that laid to rest the ghost of 2013’s horrifically bad Aliens: Colonial Marines. And while a lot better than that travesty, it’s not exactly set the gaming world on fire. Just seven weeks after release, Fireteam Elite is regularly bringing in fewer than 800 concurrent Steam players.
In Aliens: Fireteam Elite, developer Cold Iron Studios uses the popular four-player co-op format seen in games such as Left 4 Dead and Warhammer: Vermintide 2, though it opts for a third-person view rather than the more common first-person perspective.
There was quite a bit of hype before the game arrived on August 23, but most reviewers (not all) said it failed to live up to expectations. Many labeled it mediocre, praising the look and aesthetic but criticizing the repetitive gameplay, uneven difficulty, and limited game modes.
However, Aliens: Fireteam Elite received a warmer welcome from buyers. It has a 'Very Positive' Steam rating, though recent reviews downgrade that to 'Mostly Positive.' But it seems that players have been abandoning the game in droves recently. As reported by Kotaku, daily concurrent player numbers have fallen from a peak of over 15,000 in late August to regularly under 800—as per Steam Charts. At the time of writing, 626 people are currently playing it.
The figures mean Aliens: Fireteam Elite no longer makes the top 100 Steam games list; it’s not even in the top 500.
It seems that part of the problem is the dearth of new content received by Fireteam Elite, with the last big update coming in September. It’s also competing against the excellent and widely advertised Back 4 Blood, another four-player co-op shooter.
There is still hope for Aliens: Fireteam Elite. Back in September 2016, No Man’s Sky was recording fewer than 1,000 concurrent Steam players just over a month after launch. Hello Games managed an incredible turnaround over the following years through a constant release of patches, updates, and new content, and now averages between 8,000 – 10,000 concurrent Steam players every day while hitting a peak of 38,538 last month. Whether Cold Iron Studios can manage the same feat is debatable, but we know such a thing is possible.