Steam has been breaking records all year thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so it comes as no surprise that the PC platform breaks yet another one just before we say goodbye to 2020.
Games analyst Daniel Ahmad brought us some interesting figures over on Twitter that shows just how much of an impact the pandemic has had on gamers’ holiday plans. Whereas 2019 saw 15.8 million concurrent users on Steam on Christmas Day, 2020 saw that number jump by over 7 million to a total concurrent user count of 23.0 million.
Leading the player counts on Christmas were the usual suspects, including CS:GO, Dota 2, PUBG, and GTA V, with Cyberpunk 2077 adding its name to the list despite its rocky launch. Ahmad noted that the best explanation for this massive jump in concurrent users is the ongoing separation from friends and family with players using games to stay in touch.
Even as the pandemic puts a damper on everyone’s spirits, it’s been a banger year for Steam. Records have been falling all year, with headlines starting as early as February before leading into an all-time high of 24.54 million players in April. Then December’s second wave brought 24.78 million users to Steam setting a new all-time high, with Cyberpunk 2077 setting a record 1 million concurrent users playing a single game on Steam.
And it wasn’t just new titles like Cyberpunk setting records. Even older games saw a huge boost in numbers, such as Team Fortress 2 hitting a concurrent player count of 130,000 over a dozen years since its release date. Old standbys like Terraria, PUBG, and Dota 2 also saw massive player counts that defy the normal trend of dwindling users as a game ages.
New Year’s is just around the corner, so there’s a good chance that Steam will once again break records on the first day of 2021.
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