Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel Has Become This Year’s Surprise Steam Hit

Free to play card game Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel has become a surprise hit
Image Via Konami

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the gaming community in several ways. The most notable of these, perhaps, is the way that titles were delayed. With studios being shut down all over the globe, games rolled out much later than initially anticipated.

Another impact of the pandemic was the sheer number of people playing games. With so many people working from home and not commuting, many hours were available to fire up consoles. According to a study from SuperDate, more than half of Americans turned to gaming during pandemic lockdowns.

Free to play card game Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel has become a surprise hit
Image Via Konami

People looked for different kinds of titles, but many gravitated towards simple and fun games to play. And that attitude has made Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel a surprise hit.

Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Japanese card game which first hit the market in 1996, has been adapted for gaming several times. Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule: Breed and Battle were the first of dozens of titles based on the card game.

No title based on the game has ever been as successful as Master Duel, released this January. Since its release, the title has consistently ranked in the top 10 of Steam’s concurrently played games.

Master Duel has been popular for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that it is free to play. Assembling a winning Yu-Gi-Oh! deck in real life can take a lot of time and money. In the game, most of the best cards are given to players right away.”

Master Duel has also benefitted from another COVID surge that again has people working from home. Still, the title has to win players away from other games. And it is doing just that thanks to a combination of simplicity, digital reveals, and enjoyable gameplay.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is currently available on PC, PS 4/5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Todd Neikirk

Written by Todd Neikirk

Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in,, and He enjoys sports, politics, comic books, and spending time at the shore with his family.

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