Steam breaks its concurrent user record, again, passing 22 million people
Expect the number to keep growingBy Rob Thubron
What just happened? With so many people around the world self-isolating to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Steam keeps seeing record numbers of concurrent users. After passing the 20 million figure last week, the service has now reached a new peak of over 22 million.
On March 15, Steam broke the previous concurrent user record when it passed 20 million. It had already beaten the 18.8 million record set on February 2 just 24 hours earlier. That figure passed 21 million on Friday, and Yesterday (March 22) saw a massive 22,678,529 people on Steam at the same time.
While it was a new record for Steam's concurrent user count, the number of in-game players didn't reach record numbers---though it came close. Seven million people were playing games, just missing the 7.2 million record set on January 1, 2018.
Steam's peak monthly user count has been growing since September and began increasing rapidly in January, which is when China started implementing strict lockdown rules. Between February and now, the monthly peak has grown by over 3.5 million.
As for what's being played, Counter-Strike: Go, which reached a peak player count of over 1.1 million this month, remains number one. It's followed by Dota 2, PUBG, GTA V, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege.
As more countries introduce tighter lockdowns, don't be surprised to see Steam's concurrent user record smashed several more times this month.
In Europe, the strain from so many extra people going online has led to Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix reducing their streaming quality in the region, thereby helping to lighten the load.