Steam has had a record day today, posting the highest number of users logged in at over 20 million people. It’s been a record day for the platform and for developer Valve. A new record number of players for Valve’s premier first-person shooter, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, certainly helped Steam hit the milestone.
The competitive FPS also set a record for most concurrent players of all time on Saturday morning, breaking the one million player mark for the first time since it release 8 years ago. It broke yesterday’s record again this morning, reaching 1,024,845 players logged in to the game at once.
While CSGO and Dota 2 certainly put in the effort, they may have had some outside help. IGN has attributed Steam’s growth to the increased concern around COVID-19, the respiratory virus that is currently spreading around the world. While that may be the case for Steam in general, Dota 2 has seen a steady trend upwards in players since Monday, January 20, during the DreamLeague Leipzig Major.
Counter-Strike’s rise has been an even longer road. CSGO has grown from an average of 500,000 players in June 2019 to over one million today. In fact, its largest growth came in February 2020, well before quarantines were issued.
Other popular titles included the ever-present Grand Theft Auto 5 as well as action RPG Path of Exile. Rainbow Six Siege also broke its concurrent player count today, posting a total of 196,352 players earlier this morning. As more and more games on the platform have record days, previous concern over a war between the Epic Games Store and Steam doesn’t seem like that much of a fight.
While Valve has certainly benefited from all the extra time that people now have, renewed interest in its games means more content for the fans who enjoy playing them. Now, veteran players are awash with a surge of new people who might be experiencing a game for the first time. For them, it’s like Christmas time all over again.
It remains to be seen if Steam will continue to see such huge growth numbers. While continued quarantines and social isolation around the world are hardly helpful developments overall, they do conribute to a greater number of players on Steam and other gaming platforms.