Steam broke a record recently by having 10 million users simultaneously online.
By Jason Collins
Steam, a digital gaming storefront, broke yet another record over the weekend, with more than 10 million concurrent users playing various video games on the platform. We have already gotten used to high player counts from various games provided by Steam, like Cyberpunk 2077 returning player basewhich now counts millions, or the Among Us clone, which is more popular than the original game. But having 10 million players all playing games at the same time is definitely worth mentioning.
According to Destructoid, Steam breached the 10 million players number on Saturday—the first time in the platform’s near-20-year history. This would be a massive cause for celebrations, but the very next day, the platform had approximately 10.2 million concurrent players enjoying their favorite gaming titles on Valve’s digital storefront. The overall player count over the weekend rose to more than 33 million players, which is more than the number of PlayStation 5 consoles sold since the console’s release—a situation that’s bound to improve, according to Sony.
Steam has been increasingly breaking its own records for concurrent online user counts since the beginning of 2020, which coincides with the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns. By March 2020, Steam had broken its concurrent user count with more than 20 million online users, and that number increased to 30 million by March 2022. Interestingly enough, the platform’s players haven’t dipped since life returned to normal. Instead, it continued to rise, and the previous all-time concurrent player count (not to be confused with concurrent online users) was sitting at 9.2 million players.
As for what games the players have been playing, we have the usual suspects, Counter Strike Global Offensive has a reliable player base of about 1 million players logging it each day, and DOTA 2 is the second-best in that regard. Other prominent titles are PUBG: Battlegrounds, the record breaking Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2—which also marks the return of the franchise to Steam—and Apex Legends. Not to mention all the other smaller multiplayer or single-player titles.
Though massive, the number of concurrent players actually isn’t that surprising. Steam usually has the highest figures during the winter period, fueled by the holiday season vacations and its annual Steam sale—which drops the prices as low as 90% off. This means that a lot of people with a lot of free time on their hands have a chance to play their newly acquired games. In fact, Steam often puts different gaming titles on sale: wish-listing the games on Steam actually notifies you when a title goes on sale.
Steam’s player base has grown significantly over the past 20 years, and it shows no signs of stopping. The growth was particularly fueled by constant sales, promotions, and in recent times, the launch of a Nintendo Switch challenger—Valve’s very own pocket PC, the Steam Deck. The Steam Deck is a particular success for the company, as all of Steam’s previous attempts to enter the hardware market have failed. Steam Deck, on the other hand, is going strong and likely contributing to the platform’s growth.