It's fair to say that Amazon Games had a less-than-spectacular track record in videogames before New World. But the MMO appears to be a new start for the publisher, to the extent even Jeff Bezos took a break from space hijinks to herald it: "after many setbacks and failures, we have a success." At that time the MMO was riding high with 800,000 concurrent players, but its first weekend in the wild saw the number rise even higher and, Sunday evening US time, it hit an all-time peak of 913,634 players (per SteamDb).
That makes New World the most-played game on Steam over the past 24 hours, and saw it temporarily unseat Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at the top of the charts.
Our feelings on the game itself, as our review-in-progress says, are complicated. Launch week saw issues with server queues which now seem to have mostly subsided. We spoke to Amazon Games head Rich Lawrence about the launch, who said "the numbers grew so quickly and so close to launch it caught us by surprise."
New World's launch has to go down as a success for Amazon Games: we all had a good laugh about Crucible, but successfully launching an MMO at this scale without catastrophe is a major achievement (no matter how well-resourced it may be). Whether this is just a lot of players interested in trying out the next big MMO, or a playerbase that will stick around in significant numbers for years to come, remains to be seen. Though I'm pretty sure Chris will stick around, fishing away.