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Coronavirus Lockdown Puts 20 Million Real-Time Gamers on Steam

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:40 PM
Thomas Bardwell
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:40 PM
  • Steam hit an all-time concurrent user peak today of nearly 20 million users.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sets a new record of over one million concurrent players.
  • People are looking to video games to pass the time as the coronavirus pandemic leads to lockdowns and self-isolation.

There were more users on Steam earlier today than ever in the digital storefront’s 16-year history. 19,728,294 users were using Steam about an hour ago, according to figures pulled from unofficial third-party Steam tracking website SteamDB.

Steam All-Time Record

The figure represents an all-time user peak, trailed by a peak of 19,107,803 users last month. To a similar concurrent user figure, we have to travel back to January 2018 when SteamDB recorded 18,334,908 users.

Steam Hits an All-Time Concurrent User Peak of Nearly 20 Million
Source: SteamDB

Of the nearly 20 million users on Steam, over 6 million are in-game. Of these, 1,007,062 are playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, according to Steam’s official stats page. 

This represents a record for Valve’s tactical first-person shooter, which already hit a concurrent player record less than two weeks . Today is also the first time the title has hit more than 1 million concurrent players  since it launched in August 2012.

Source: Steam

To highlight just how popular Counter-Strike Global Offensive is today, 24-hour peak player count of perennial Steam heavy-hitter Dota 2 hit 694,829 while battle royale PUBG had 525,462 players.

Coronavirus Lockdown Leads to a Surge in People Playing Games

While today’s all-time user record is likely to represent a natural progression of Steam’s steady growth, it’s safe to assume that the coronavirus pandemic has played its part as well.

As more countries announce lockdowns and people opt to remain indoors to reduce the chances of the virus spreading further, many are looking to video games to pass the time. As the dominant digital storefront, Steam is a natural destination for gamers looking to distract themselves while cloistered indoors.

Whether we’ll see the all-time user figure storm past 20 million in the coming weeks remains to be seen, but with the coronavirus showing no signs of abating anytime soon, it’s highly likely.