What just happened? As the coronavirus forces millions around the world to stay at home and practice social isolation, it seems one way to pass the time is by playing some Steam titles. Over the weekend, Valve’s platform recorded its higher-ever number of concurrent players, over 20 million.
On Sunday, March 15, Steam reached a massive 20,313,476 concurrent users, beating the previous record of just under 20 million from 24 hours earlier. Before the weekend, Steam’s highest concurrent player count was 18.8 million set on February 2, which came a few hours before the Super Bowl.
While there were more than 20 million people logged into Steam, the in-game player count never went higher than 6.2 million—a million fewer than the 7.2 million record set on January 1, 2018. It seems a large number of those logged in were just browsing or letting the program run in the background.
There were also some high user numbers for Steam’s top games. Counter-Strike: GO saw over one million concurrent players, a new record, while DOTA 2 had over 700,000, and PUBG was over 500,000.
#Steam has just reached a new concurrent online user record of 20 million, with 6.2 million currently in-game, likely due to many people staying at home due to the #coronavirus.https://t.co/bzLMfMOJvD#COVID19— Steam Database (@SteamDB) March 15, 2020
With bars, restaurants, and cinemas closing, numerous events being canceled, and people advised to avoid public gatherings, it’s not a surprise to see so many turning to Steam while stuck at home. For those in lockdown in Italy, they’ve also got the option of a free Pornhub premium subscription. The increase in internet data usage has seen ISPs suspending data caps and promising not to penalize customers for missed payments during the outbreak.