Haxra’s free ARPG “Path of Exile” will be on Steam on February 4. And it recorded the highest number of maximum concurrent users. Behind this is the population transition characteristic of this work that accompanies large-scale updating. Additionally, just before that, it was revealed that this work was partially supported “quietly” in Japanese.
“Path of Exile” is a hack and slash ARPG from New Zealand-based studio Grinding Gear Games (GGG). It has strong support from domestic and foreign Hakusura fans, and although it is not supported by Japanese, it also has quite a few players in Japan. This work began distribution in 2013 and, since 2014, it has been regularly updated with free expansions. As a result, the number of simultaneously logged in players on Steam for this job tends to explode immediately after a major update almost every three months and then stabilizes again over the next three months. For this reason, when the transition is graphed, it exhibits a characteristic “saw blade” shape.
And “Path of Exile” will offer a major “Siege of the Atlas” update on February 4 of this year. Set 158,882 maximum concurrent Steam users, breaking the record set approximately 9 years after its release (SteamDB). That said, the numbers aren’t outstanding by the game’s recent standards. Steam’s maximum concurrent connections exceed 100,000 with each major update of this work, and among the three updates released last year, 3 updates have attracted more than 150,000 players at peak times. In other words, many “Path of Exile” players tend to “come back” to this job every time there is a major update. In a sense, there is also an aspect that can be said to be an annual event like a homecoming race.
Last year, however, there were some events that overshadowed the annual population growth. In the extended version “Ultimatum” delivered in April last year, server connection problems arose immediately after launch. Many users were waiting for their turn to log in and were unable to play. On the other hand, GGG has been criticized by many users for giving preference to streamers contracted with the studio so that they can play without waiting in line. Perhaps for that reason, the number of Steam’s maximum simultaneous connections at the time of the release of the upcoming “Expedition” expansion version of “Ultimatum” showed a decreasing trend to 116,000.
Still, GGG’s unwavering focus on new content is probably why Path of Exile broke Steam’s player population record this time around. Many changes and additional content are included in this update, focusing on “Atlas”, which occupies a prominent place among the final contents of this work. There is a wide variety of content, such as the introduction of new systems in Atlas and the addition of bosses, and many players may have returned because they were attracted by the fact that “the usual Atlas changes”.
Additionally, while it’s unclear if it contributed to this population increase, earlier this year, domestic players reported the discovery that “‘Path of Exile’ partially supports Japanese localization.” However, within the scope of my observations, there was no official announcement regarding support for Japanese. In other words, it can be seen that it was secretly implemented as a test. Japaneseization is possible by rewriting “language=en” in “production_Config.ini” which exists in the “My Games/Path of Exile” folder under the PC documents folder to “language=jp”. . If it does not exist, it can be added. However, it should be noted that this is an unofficial method, so there may be problems.
When I used the above method, I saw a considerable amount of text being translated. Specifically, we were able to confirm that item names, effects, and NPC conversations at the beginning of the game have been translated into Japanese. On the other hand, the passive tree is mainly limited to the translation of important skills, etc., and untranslated parts such as item effects are highlighted. It’s just a test implementation. However, it is worth noting that Japanese can now be displayed in the game. GGG was hiring Japanese localization staff for “Path of Exile” in April of last year (related article). In addition, there are many voices from home users who want this work to be translated into Japanese. The “secret Japanization” this time will be highly anticipated news for users who are waiting for the localization of this work.
The big update for the “Path of Exile” expansion version “Siege of the Atlas” is currently shipping for PC (official site/Steam/Epic Games Store). It will ship on February 9 local time for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which has not yet rolled out in Japan. Additionally, GGG says the sequel “Path of Exile 2” could release in 2022 this year (PC Gamer). I would like to wait for a follow-up report on that, including the presence or absence of Japanese support.