A player in Palworld stood near a dungeon boss fight.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

Why is Palworld losing players?

Where did everyone go?

Palworld was an instant hit, and millions of players flooded into the open-world survival title during its release week. But fast forward a month from January 2024: Palworld lost players, and the numbers are hard to ignore looking at the charts.

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It’s impossible to chalk up Palworld’s success to luck. During my time playing the game, I loved how clear it was that the game was designed by developers who had a decent idea of what would be fun. In this day and age, most games feel industrialized, and the freedom Palworld offered captured me.

When Palworld merged with a community of players who were equally creative, an endless stream of content emerged. From the hardcore no-catch Palworld challenge to having to trade your morals for Legendary Schematics, it doesn’t take long to find something exciting to do. For this reason, I had no idea that Palworld was losing players until I took a look at its SteamDB Charts.

Why did Palworld lose so many players?

Palworld's Steam Chart player numbers.
Is this what a soft landing looks like? Image via SteamDB

Palworld lost a significant portion of its player base because its release hype gradually diminished. From January to February 2024, Palworld lost 1.5 million players, roughly around 70 percent of its active player base. The fall looks hard, but let’s not forget that Palworld drew more players than expected on the back of its successful marketing campaign. Such strategies often result in short-term success, and overachieving gave Palworld‘s moderate retention rate a bad look.

From a statistical standpoint, it would be unfair to call a 30 percent retention rate a failure. Palworld flew too close to the sun, and it’s now flying at a cruising altitude.

Should you stop playing Palworld?

Stopping playing a game because it’s losing players can be an overreaction. While you could have a case for online titles since lower player counts would translate to higher queue times, Palworld isn’t a live-service game.

You can play Palworld by yourself or set up a dedicated server to play with friends. Considering you can always do a server reset, you’ll also have the option to keep the gameplay experience fresh. After all, millions can comeback with a single major content patch.


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Author
Gökhan Çakır
Gökhan is a Staff Writer and Fortnite Lead at Dot Esports. Gökhan graduated as an industrial engineer in 2020 and has since been with Dot Esports. As a natural-born gamer, he honed his skills to a professional level in Dota 2. Upon giving up on the Aegis of Champions in 2019, Gökhan started his writing career, covering all things gaming, while his heart remains a lifetime defender of the Ancients.