With COVID-19 continuing to spread around the world, many countries and cities have encouraged everyone who can to practice social distancing. This means no large gatherings, no going out to eat, and a whole lot more staying inside. As one of the world’s foremost stay-inside activities video games are something more people are using.
Steam, Valve’s PC gaming marketplace has hit a new record number of users over the weekend with more than 22 million players logging on. This is up from the previous high of 20 million just a few days earlier. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive remains the platform’s most played game, as it has for the last several months, topping out at a record-breaking 1.1 million players on Sunday, March 22 — according to streamdb.info.
Interestingly, big Steam hits like CS:GO, PUBG and Dota 2, that normally make up the top of Steam’s charts, haven’t grown monumentally as Steam’s players have increased. Instead, players have gravitated more toward other games, rather than everyone jumping into the same popular competitive multiplayer experiences. Thousands of players are moving to games like the newly released Doom: Eternal, or even 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot, which is free on Steam right now to encourage players to stay inside. Also free for the moment is Football Manager 2020, which has jumped all the way up to the top five on Steam’s charts.
While few other platforms offer such direct access to players statistics as Steam, it seems safe to say that more people are playing more games across the board. Which might help account for things like the recent Xbox Live outages that have occurred in the last few weeks.
Though the number of COVID-19 cases in some of the earliest countries to report the virus, such as China and South Korea, have decreased the United States and other countries are only now seeing their infection rates increase as testing becomes more widely available. In an attempt to curtail the pandemic, officials in various parts of the world, and many states in the US are beginning to issue lockdowns which encourage people to stay in their homes and force closure of all non-essential businesses. With these lockdowns on the rise for at least the next month, it’s likely that we haven’t seen an end to the increase in players on Steam and other platforms.