Broke Protocol: Online City RPG is a massive low-poly open-world RPG game that just blew up out of nowhere on steam garnering over 100K concurrent players. There is no explanation for the massive uptick in numbers at this point in time. But, there always is an explanation for everything and this could potentially be a case of a botting.
The game is currently in Early Access and has been available on steam 26 August of 2017. The fact that this game was released 2 years ago and now it just suddenly rise to the top 10 most played games on steam is just unusual. That too while climbing all the way to the number 4 spot with 100K+ players. The game just received a new Update that released today, could it be the reason for this uptick? There are multiple possibilities for this to happen.
It could be the result of the update itself, which is highly unlikely given its magnitude. It could be because of some popular youtube or streaming personalities promoting the game by just playing it. Upon doing some quick searches on Twitch and Youtube, I found no such evidence of this being the case, at least nothing recent.
A more plausible explanation could be a case of a botting attack. The game website has the tools and a guide available so you can set up your own server. If we go to the games page on steamdb and take a look at the packages tab, you will notice there is a new branch that was last updated 5 hours ago, perhaps even created. The branch has the name Anonymous Dedicated Server Comp with the Billing Type set to No Cost, meaning it’s a branch that is free. Perhaps someone managed to create a Dedicated Server alongside a new branch of the game and then botted the server.
While the above theory could very well be flawed as I am no expert by any means, it’s all we have to go on for now. As the main developer of the game has had no comments about this sudden surge in number. He has noticed the surge himself in a tweet.