It has been about a year since the start of the global pandemic, and a lot of people are staying at home playing video games. We’ve seen Steam’s concurrent player count break its own record several times during this stretch, and the record has been broken once again.
Industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls shared the news on Twitter, showing that more than 26 million Steam users were logged in at the same time, representing an all-time peak for the service. The number was actually a little bit higher than what is listed in his tweet when we checked it out, so it looks like Steam’s record could grow even larger.
Steam platform concurrent users have breached 26m for the first time today
Post 1st lockdown growth in Q1 2020, new records for PCCUs have been set in Jan and Feb 2021
Note: in-game CCUs have not matched the record set in March 2020 pic.twitter.com/xVhlwy780Y
— Piers Harding-Rolls (@PiersHR) February 7, 2021
One variable, however, is how many people are actually actively playing a game at that time. This record was not broken today, though it inched closer than any time we’ve seen in nearly a year.
It’s tough to say for sure just why the player record was broken today, as it has been a pretty dry period for new game releases. Staples like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Grand Theft Auto V, and Team Fortress 2 continue to sit high on the charts, with over 1 million people playing CS: GO at the same time, in particular.
The last big spike we saw in December made more sense on paper, as Cyberpunk 2077 had just released. It still charts in February, but the total player count has fallen considerably as CD Projekt Red continues to work on improving stability and addressing bugs.