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Steam starts 2021 by breaking 25 million concurrent users

Steam starts 2021 by breaking 25 million concurrent users

Valve's Steam platform has hit another record for concurrent users.

As reported on the company's own website, the store hit a new peak of 25,416,720 simultaneous players within the last two days. It seems that this milestone was reached between 14:00 and 15:00 UK time on Sunday, January 3rd. This is slightly higher than the 25,415,080 reported by SteamDB yesterday.

When this new record was hit, just 7.4 million players were actively in-game with the remaining users simply using Valve's platform. Why Steam attracted this many users is not entirely clear, but it's likely in part the result of Cyberpunk 2077's popularity. Not only was the title eagerly-anticipated, the fact that the PC version seems to be pretty much the only edition that works as advertised might have proved a draw. Regardless, this is an increase of 6.6 million on the record of 18.8 million that Steam hit in February 2020.

The concurrent user record was previously 24.8 million players, a record that the store hit in the middle of December. This was in part thanks to Cyberpunk 2077 and new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive DLC Operation Broken Fang.

Within the last year, Steam has seen a huge increase in concurrent users, largely due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. As previously stated, at the start of 2020 the record for simultaneous players was 18.8 million but by April it had reached 24.5 million.

SteamDB's Pavel Djundik had pointed out that since April, peaks and troughs in the number of users on Steam – normally seen at weekends and in the evenings – have all but disappeared. Again, this will no doubt be due to a certain global pandemic that has seen people stuck at home and looking for a way to entertain themselves.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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