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November 6, 2017

‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ may be behind recent Windows 7 surge on Steam

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Windows 10 might slowly be gaining market share, but it’s far from a dominant force in markets like China.

It’s been a long time since Windows 7 was at its peak popularity among gamers, but somehow it surged to the top of the Steam Hardware Survey charts in October. It currently beats out previous top-dog Windows 10 64-bit by more than 35 percent. Oddly enough, that may be the fault of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

The swing in the numbers is even more surprising. In the last month alone, Windows 7-64bit has seen an upswing of close to 23 percent, while Windows 10 64-bit has dipped by more than 17 percent. Why would so many people seemingly turn their backs on the most contemporary version of the Windows operating system in favor of its eight-year-old predecessor?

It might be down to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The battle royale title has been tearing up the Steam charts since its Early Access release earlier this year and its influence might be starting to impact the makeup of system software on Steam.

The game isn’t making players switch OS for a boost to frame rate or functionality though, but instead is drawing in millions of players from around the world, most notably from China. The number of Steam users running the “Simplified Chinese” language on Steam increased by almost 27 percent during October.

Windows 7 is the most popular operating system in China due to Windows 10 being banned in the country. With that in mind, the likes of TechSpot have done the math. Battlegrounds is bringing in so many Chinese gamers that it’s changing the popularity of certain pieces of software for the Steam user base.

This should perhaps be no surprise. With more than 13 million copies sold within the last seven months alone, Battlegrounds was bound to have an impact in a variety of gaming sectors. Some of those consequences, though, have certainly been unexpected.

As TechSpot points out, its impact in China may be short-lived. If threats to ban the game for its violence go ahead, we could see the surge of Chinese Steam gamers dampen very quickly.

Whatever your language preferences, if you’re looking to have a better chance of winning your next chicken dinner, check out our beginner and advance guides to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

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