Steam Breaks New Record, With More Players Than Ever Before

·2-min read
A character riding a 4x4 bike across the sand in PUBG.
A character riding a 4x4 bike across the sand in PUBG.


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As the unstoppable virus of Sundays continues its gruesome pandemic into a new week, it seems more humans than ever are turning to video games in order to survive. On the 10th Sunday since the outbreak began, January 2, Steam broke its concurrent user record, hitting just shy of 28 million.

More than the entire population of Madagascar logged into Valve’s PC /monopoly/ online store at the same time yesterday, the total reaching 27,942,036. (Thanks u/Turbostrider27.) Given that at the time of writing—when most of the U.S. is still in bed—it’s at 26,919,922, that seems a record that’s likely to be broken yet again today. Not least because it’s the 11th Sunday in a row.

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A graph from SteamDB showing lifetime concurrent users on Steam.
A graph from SteamDB showing lifetime concurrent users on Steam.


Graphed for your pleasure.

According to the stats reported by SteamDB, somewhere between seven and eight million of those humans were actually in-game at the same time, the other 20 million presumably browsing the infinite sale, or telling someone else to “git gud” on a discussion board instead of facing their own emotional struggles.

The largest proportion of those people were playing Counter-Strike despite all other possible options, with Dota 2, PUBG: Battlegrounds (which stands for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: Battlegrounds), Apex Legends and GTA V making up the rest of the top five. Yup, the most recently released game to dominate PC gaming is from 2019, the next from 2017.

Meanwhile, scientists are still speculating on when this Sunday Plague will end, having started on December 24 last year, and showing no signs of stopping as New Year’s Day has leaked improbably into this week. There are hopes weekdays might be restored at some point this month, allowing people to gain some sense of foundation and understanding of the passing of time once more, and remember the date despite only being a handful of days into a new year.


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