Steam has managed to break its concurrent user record again after just one week.
On Sunday, February 9 at 14:10 GMT, a record 19,107,803 people were logged into Steam at the same time, blowing the previous record of 18,801,944 from February 2 out of the water. Steam user count records being broken so quickly is unheard of, as the record before February 2 was from all the way back in January 2018.
That surge of players has been good for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, as it too broke its own concurrent player record again after only two days. At around the same time as Steam broke its record on February 9, CS:GO saw an all-time high of 901,651 players.
The reasons behind this trend of high user counts aren't entirely clear, though industry analyst Daniel Ahmad believes it may be related to the current coronavirus outbreak.
This happened on the last day of the Lunar New Year holiday for most places in China. Novel Coronavirus fears, city lockdowns and travel restrictions has kept people at home and one activity to pass the time is gaming. Peak in January was on the 26th, one day after new year. https://t.co/tCXhaskpDmFebruary 3, 2020
There are an estimated 30 million Chinese Steam accounts, and Simplified Chinese is the second most popular language on the platform following English. Considering much of China is currently under lockdown and quarantine because of the coronavirus, it makes sense many of those users will be trying to pass the time with some gaming.
With this in mind, it may be unlikely that this record will be broken again any time soon. Valve is currently gearing up to release Steam China, a sanitised, Chinese government-friendly version of the client that will have only 40 of Steam's 30,000 games at launch. Assuming this client will record its numbers individually from the main Steam client, its launch could prove the end of any record breaking for the foreseeable future.