Steam's concurrent user record broken again as 26.4 million people log in

midian182

Posts: 6,898   +62
Staff member
What just happened? Steam’s concurrent user record has been broken several times since the start of the pandemic, and the trend isn’t slowing down. Yesterday saw an all-time high of 26.4 million people connected to the service, breaking a record set last month.

In March 2020, with Covid-19 forcing much of the world indoors, Steam broke its concurrent user record when 20 million people were logged into their accounts simultaneously. It took just a few days before that figure was surpassed, followed by a third record being set in as many weeks.

The 25 million concurrent user milestone was passed at the start of the new year. Now, SteamDB’s trackers show a new record; on February 7, 26,401,443 people were logged into the platform at the same time.

While one record was broken, the number of people playing Steam games at the same time reached 7.3 million—fewer than the all-time high of 8.1 million in-game players we saw during March last year.

Valve is one of several tech companies to have benefitted from the pandemic. The company’s recent year in review revealed that Steam's monthly active player count reached 120 million in 2020, up from 95 million a year earlier. There were also 21.4 percent more games purchased compared to 2019, and 50.7 percent more hours played.

“While Steam was already seeing significant growth in 2020 before COVID-19 lockdowns, video game playtime surged when people started staying home, dramatically increasing the number of customers buying and playing games, and hopefully bringing some joy to counter-balance some of the craziness that was 2020,” Valve wrote.

Don’t be surprised to see the concurrent and in-game Steam user records broken several times throughout this year.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,002   +5,607
Steam is gonna have a Chinese lunar New Year sale with DCS WORLD free-play this Friday into President’s week.

Can’t wait!!!
 

Homerlovesbeer

Posts: 146   +153
What does this really mean though? If the Steam client has been downloaded and installed there's a good chance somebody "logs in" to the Steam server every time they turn their PC on.

It doesn't mean they are actually gaming (they could simply be working from home).

I haven't played a game all year yet I'm logged into Steam whilst my PC is on.
 

Hexic

Posts: 982   +1,419
TechSpot Elite
What does this really mean though? If the Steam client has been downloaded and installed there's a good chance somebody "logs in" to the Steam server every time they turn their PC on.

It doesn't mean they are actually gaming (they could simply be working from home).

I haven't played a game all year yet I'm logged into Steam whilst my PC is on.

Valve is really good at playing this up - "We have xx million users logged into their Steam clients while they're out getting fast food!"

It would be somewhat impressive if they published tens of millions of peak concurrent users *actually playing games*... Considering Steam is free to sign up, install, log in, and just sit there every time most users would fire their PCs up.

WoW had 12M+ active users, who were actively paying every month to play the game. That's half of these Steam users... Actually paying, and only playing one singular game. This is why I'm not impressed.
 

McKocoa

Posts: 30   +44
Not an unexpected jump when other acceptable hobbies of the day are grocery shopping and knocking reps out in my penitentiary style training regime.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,672   +3,542
TechSpot Elite
Valve is really good at playing this up - "We have xx million users logged into their Steam clients while they're out getting fast food!"

It would be somewhat impressive if they published tens of millions of peak concurrent users *actually playing games*... Considering Steam is free to sign up, install, log in, and just sit there every time most users would fire their PCs up.

WoW had 12M+ active users, who were actively paying every month to play the game. That's half of these Steam users... Actually paying, and only playing one singular game. This is why I'm not impressed.
I would agree with you if they didn't also release the sales numbers and playtime numbers. It really does seem like the userbase grew significantly in 2020 and it was to be expected. Every online service grew in 2020.

One benchmark I sometimes use for steam usage is cs:go numbers. April had a record number of 1.3mil peak concurrent players (857k average).
 

Hexic

Posts: 982   +1,419
TechSpot Elite
I would agree with you if they didn't also release the sales numbers and playtime numbers. It really does seem like the userbase grew significantly in 2020 and it was to be expected. Every online service grew in 2020.

One benchmark I sometimes use for steam usage is cs:go numbers. April had a record number of 1.3mil peak concurrent players (857k average).

Oh absolutely, there's no doubt Steam's user base has grown significantly. As you stated, since this is a free service that isn't behind a subscription pay wall, peak concurrent users is the only metric for real accurate user traceability.

"Total Steam users online" doesn't mean much if those users aren't playing games.