100 million people now play Solitaire on Windows

Posted Sep 1, 2016 by James Walker
Microsoft has announced that over 100 million people have now played Solitaire on Windows 8 or 10. It makes it one of the most popular and far-reaching games ever created, showing the mass appeal of the simple titles that come bundled with Windows.
Microsoft Solitaire Collection has reached 100 million unique users
Microsoft Solitaire Collection has reached 100 million unique users
A version of Solitaire has been included with every Windows installation in the past 26 years, save for a short hiatus at the launch of Windows 8. The absence of the hit game caused an outcry, leading Microsoft to build the Microsoft Solitaire Collection app. It was rebuilt last year for Windows 10 and now comes preinstalled again on Windows PCs.
Solitaire remains one of the most played games of all time across every released version of Windows. According to Microsoft, 55 million Solitaire Collection games are played every day, or the equivalent of 2.29 million an hour. Over 20 billion games are played each year.
The reach of Solitaire Collection is most appreciated when compared to its total potential audience. 350 million people are currently using Windows 10, accounting for 23% of computers. Windows 8.1 has an eight percent share, making the game's potential audience around 30 percent of all PC users.
With some rough calculations based on Microsoft's "350 million" figure for Windows 10 and data supplied by NetMarketShare, it can be estimated that the total number of Windows 10 and Windows 8 users is around 370 million people. Using these figures, Solitaire Collection is played by around 27 percent of all possible Windows users.
The game is more popular than some of the most successful PC titles of all time. Diablo III has sold 12 million copies, World of Warcraft 14 million and Minecraft 24 million. Solitaire dwarfs all of these, although its status as a free-to-play title automatically gives it a greater reach. Whichever way it's looked at, the game has an extraordinary number of players, some of whom are likely to have stuck with the title in all its iterations since the earliest versions of Windows.
"For many, Solitaire paved the way for gaming on Windows PCs, and most players have fond memories of winning a game and seeing cascading cards bouncing across the computer screen," said Microsoft. "And now with 100 million unique players, Microsoft Solitaire Collection has amassed enough people to create a small nation due to its broad accessibility and fun features that make players want to return day after day," the company added.
As part of the celebrations, Microsoft announced a new game mode coming to the app this fall. Events will enable players to win awards and pitch themselves against friends and the community. It'll be possible to build a lasting Solitaire "legacy" based on success in competitive events. The app currently has five different modes, Klondike, Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid and Tripeaks.
Microsoft is also expanding Solitaire Collection onto other platforms. This fall, it will debut the app on Android and iOS devices. It will include cross-platform play powered by Xbox Live, enabling statistic sharing across the desktop and mobile versions of the game. It is already available on Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile.
Reaching 100 million unique users is a milestone for any app. That a casual PC game has achieved it is perhaps even more significant, indicating the lasting appeal of the first game to come preinstalled with Windows. Titles like Solitaire tend to have a greater presence on mobile devices but even Pokémon Go, now the largest game in mobile history, has less than 25 million players. Casual PC gaming is evidently alive and well, despite PC sales being in decline.