Sad news reported at Kotaku Australia: just seven weeks after a relatively successful launch, which saw player numbers around a healthy 10k – despite numerous bugs and missing features (such as Quickplay options) hampering progress, achievements and just general fun in some cases – and even with free content being added soon after release, the player numbers for Aliens: Fireteam Elite (my review here) on Steam have dropped below 1000. Even worse, they dropped as far as 792 concurrent players, likely thanks to a short campaign and, as predicted in my review, the recent release of zombie themed horde shooter Back 4 Blood.

It’s a real shame that Cold Iron Studios couldn’t get the big guns together to combat the migration of players from Fireteam Elite to Back 4 Blood, but it was perhaps inevitable with both games releasing so close together and with the latter title being so hugely anticipated. Not even the great use of the Aliens licence and excellent fan service in Fireteam Elite seems enough to save it from being nuked from orbit, though hopefully with more free campaign content coming and tweaks to the issues still plaguing players, there’s a chance that the player base can be tempted back for another bug hunt.

There’s no indication on the console numbers at this stage – but with Back 4 Blood appearing on Game Pass day one on Xbox consoles, that’s also likely to have an effect, with players not even having to fork out the full RRP to give Turtle Rock’s zombie shooter a try.

Here’s hoping that Cold Iron Studios do have something up their sleeves though; Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a lot of fun over the course of its far-too-short campaign and the gameplay is solid; with the fierce new competition in the horde shooter space however (and one that’s a spiritual sequel to the Left 4 Dead games too), it’s going to be an uphill battle unfortunately.

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