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.