Yes, it's happened again – Steam has once again broken its own concurrent player record as players continue to practice social distancing and self-isolation, spending more time at home.
Recording the spike this time was Steam Database (opens in new tab) (thanks, PC Gamer (opens in new tab)), which caught the moment 2,678,529 concurrently jumped on Steam for a little R&R. As noted by our pals at PCG, this spike once again came at around 3pm UK time, which is mid-morning for the United States and peak evening hours for Chinese players.
Steam's upward trend began in January when Chinese national began to self-isolate at the start of the COVID-19 crisis. On February 2nd, Steam's previous record of 18,537,490 users – set in January 2018 – was surpassed (opens in new tab), smashing the existing record by an impressive 300,000 to peak at 18,801,944 players. It's been broken several times since, including last weekend which saw numbers breach 20 million for the first time (opens in new tab).
"Steam just achieved a new peak concurrent user record of 22 million, one day after reaching 21 million and six days after reaching 20 million," tweeted (opens in new tab) video game industry analyst, Daniel Ahmad. "Global lockdowns and self-isolation due to COVID-19 has led to at-home gaming becoming a safe form of entertainment to pass the time."
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (opens in new tab) is again clocking up the most players – that too broke a concurrent record recently (opens in new tab).
As Jordan reported last week (opens in new tab), the news comes amidst a string of high-profile cancellations, postponements, and changes related to the alarming spread of the coronavirus. Notably, E3 2020 (opens in new tab) was cancelled, Pokemon Go implemented changes (opens in new tab) to encourage social-distancing, and Disney postponed (opens in new tab) seven live-action productions. EA has confirmed its halting all live esports events (opens in new tab), too, and is also recommending its staff work from home, as is Rockstar (opens in new tab).
On a more positive note, Nvidia is giving PC gamers (opens in new tab) a chance to make a real difference by using their hardware's power to access the Folding@home application, which lets you donate unused computing power to help with research into the coronavirus.
Looking for something new to get stuck into? Here are the best PC games (opens in new tab) right now.