Steam just broke its record player count by nearly 300k

(Image credit: SteamDB)
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Steam (opens in new tab)'s concurrent user count passed 18.8 million earlier today, peaking at 18,801,944 according to tracker SteamDB (opens in new tab). The previous record was 18.5 million just about two years ago on January 6, 2018. As noted by SteamDB, this concurrent user record did not coincide with a record number of players in game, with only 5.8 million today against 7 million two years ago, about 1.2 million fewer. The previous record was boosted by the huge number of players in Playerunknown's Battlegrounds. It's not known what caused the current peak, though the time of the peak coincides with peak playtimes for all of Steam's top games. 

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2019 was a banner year for Steam (opens in new tab), with several big changes to the client and interface. Steam has experienced massive growth in the past decade, with a consistent uptick in the Chinese market making Chinese Steam's new most-popular language. (opens in new tab) Valve seeks to bring Steam to more platforms, including Chromebooks (opens in new tab). (And mobile, with Dota Underlords (opens in new tab) and remote play. (opens in new tab)) The draw of the platform is such that EA Games, who pulled their games from Steam in favor of their own Origin platform, are coming back. (opens in new tab) All of this is despite competitors’ attempts (opens in new tab) to take some market share from Steam. If you're not familiar with the 15 year history of Steam, might I recommend this feature? (opens in new tab) I might and I shall.

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Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.