Steam breaks record for concurrent users, likely due to coronavirus

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Steam set a new all-time high for the number of concurrent users on the gaming service at the weekend, hitting 20 million for the first time ever – likely due to the number of folks staying at home because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The new record was achieved on March 15 (Sunday) according to Steam Database’s figures, as shared on Twitter. As observed at the time of the tweet, of those 20 million, 6.2 million were actually playing a game.

In other words, the majority were just pottering around in some corner of the service, or maybe even only had it fired up in the background, as opposed to actually actively playing something.

CS:GO breaks a million

Of course, 6.2 million is still a lot of folks playing games (if not a record in itself). Indeed, on Saturday, March 14, Steam Database also highlighted a new record for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with just over a million players (404 over to be precise). It’s only the third game ever to exceed the million concurrent player mark (along with PUBG and Dota 2).

There would seem to be a pretty clear link between the major gains made here, and the fact that people are staying home rather than going out due to coronavirus, switching on their PCs in droves.

It was only last month, February 2020, when Steam set a new record of 18,801,944 concurrent users (with about 5.8 million in-game). That broke the previous high of 18,537,490 which was set way back in January 2018.

In the last 30 days, going by Steam Database’s stats, Valve’s gaming service has hit an average daily peak of almost 17.4 million concurrent users, which again is a new record.

Via Tom’s Hardware

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).