Before the big "Foundation" update that surprise-launched this weekend, No Man's Sky wasn't in a great place. On Steam, the game's concurrent player count hovered mostly between 200 and 500. It wasn't even within spitting distance of Steam's top 100 most-played games.
What a difference a solid update (after months of silence, which drummed up frothing curiosity) makes. On Monday, the game peaked at 8090 concurrent players on Steam, and its peak for today is 6921. It's now right in the middle of the pack on Steam's top 100, something many people figured would never happen again after the dick monster and Spore comparisons generator's hype-deflating launch.
That's quite a bump, but No Man's Sky managed an average of 36,976 concurrent players throughout its launch month of August. During its first few days, it regularly broke 200,000. So a lot of people are back, but it hasn't even come close to its exceedingly short-lived Glory Days.
I still have some reserves about No Man's Sky transforming into yet another crack at "The Ultimate Video Game", but if this first update is anything to go by, it seems like Hello Games has some smart improvements in store. It will be interesting to see if players stick around for whatever comes next.