Valve has yet again broken another concurrent Steam user record, this time clocking up almost 26.5 million simultaneous players.
Smashing the previous milestone - which was set over the new year in early January 2021 - Valve's current all-time peak concurrent record now sits at 26,401,443 people.
Steam continues shattering its concurrent users records, right now at 26.3 million users! 🚀Previous record was 25.4mil on January 2nd. https://t.co/D6WDHbz0B4 pic.twitter.com/DSLzDfECPEFebruary 7, 2021
Steam's upward trend began in January 2020 when Chinese nationals began to self-isolate at the start of the COVID-19 crisis. On February 2, Steam's previous record of 18,537,490 users – set in January 2018 – was surpassed, smashing the existing record by an impressive 300,000 to peak at 18,801,944 players.
It's gone on to be broken several times since, including a weekend in March which saw numbers breach 20 million for the first time, and then 22 million just a week later. The latest record – which was set in January 2021 – stood at 25.4 million users.
It comes just a few weeks after Steam also hit a record-setting 120 million monthly active players, and 31.3 billion hours were spent playing Steam games in 2020, a 50 per cent increase from 2019. Valve clarified that it was definitely the pandemic that caused the uptick in popularity.
"As many of you already know, this past year had more than its share of challenges, with everyone's lives upended by the global pandemic," reads Steam's Year in Review blog post. "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."
As we reported last month, Cyberpunk 2077 was the new most-played game on Steam, briefly overtaking the likes of Dota 2 and CS:GO – an impressive feat, particularly when you consider it's currently a purely singleplayer experience.
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