After two years of work from fans, this free vtuber brawler is now one of the biggest fighting games on Steam

After promising previews capping off two years of development, free vtuber brawler Idol Showdown has finally hit Steam and instantly become one of the platform's biggest fighting games. 

A quick look at Steam's own new and trending tab for fighting games puts Idol Showdown at number two, while SteamDB ranks it at number three for concurrent players among fighting games, trailing behind Brawlhalla and Naraka: Bladepoint. In a tweet, developer Besto Game Team confirmed the game was downloaded over 200,000 times in its first weekend. It's also racked up nearly 2,000 reviews on Steam at the time of writing, and with a 95% positive rating. 

Beyond the sheer size of its international target audience, part of Idol Showdown's explosive launch can be attributed to all the coverage it's gotten from the very vtubers that it's about. It stars eight playable streamers from the Hololive brand owned by Japanese company Cover, and it features far more of the brand's streamers in cameos and special attacks. Those same vtubers have seemingly fallen in love with the game, and with tens of millions of YouTube subscribers between them, they've put millions of eyes on it by streaming it in the past few days. 

Idol Showdown's official Twitter page is overflowing with posts from multiple Hololive talents, and Cover's management has even gotten involved. In a (machine translated) tweet, Hololive staffer A-chan wrote: "Thank you for a game filled with love for Hololive! I would love to play it myself!" Some streamers have even directly contributed to the game; Shishiro Botan, who previously ignited an influx of Deep Rock Galactic players, requested and recorded some new voice lines for her playable counterpart.  

The launch trailer for Idol Showdown shows that the devs plan to add at least three more playable characters, and it seems Hololive's Usada Pekora, ranked the most-watched female streamer of Q1 2023, is next in line. I can easily picture each new character triggering an influx of players looking to play as their favorite streamer, so while it may not remain at the top of Steam, Idol Showdown could be running hot for some time. 

Hololive talents have also introduced countless fans to Holocure, which might be the best Vampire Survivors riff

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.