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10 million players push Steam to a new record

That’s 10 million people — all playing a game, too — all at once

The Steam logo on a dark background Graphic: Polygon

Steam hit 10 million concurrent users all playing video games over the weekend. We’ve become somewhat accustomed to these milestone stories over the years, but this one — 10 million people, all playing a game, not just idling in the browser or the storefront — seems worth a nod.

Steam breached the 10 million player figure on Saturday morning (EST), then logged another 10 million players logged in, doing their thing, around the same time on Sunday. Steam (or at least its API, according to Steamdb.info), began keeping track of in-game concurrent users in 2017. The service’s last big spike, under this measure, came March 30, 2020 — as the COVID-19 pandemic was driving everyone indoors, of course — with 8.1 million, all online at the same time playing something.

Steam’s playership sharply dropped off as life returned to normal, but came back to hit a high of 9.2 million concurrent, in-game players over the Valentine’s Day weekend in 2022. The PC gaming marketplace and community notched 32 million concurrent online users — not necessarily in a game — on Thursday as well. That’s also a record.

As for what folks were playing, it’s looks like the usual suspects — Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, for starters, which reliably has about a million players logged in at peak times each day. Big multiplayer ensembles like Dota 2, PUBG: Battlegrounds, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Apex Legends also contributed to the bottom line.

What does this mean? Steam’s user base continues to grow, as one would expect, probably assisted by the handheld Steam Deck, which is about to hit its one-year birthday. Steam itself will turn 20 years old in September of this year. If that makes you feel old, well, know you’re not alone.

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