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Steam cracks 25M concurrent users as the new year begins

An image of the "Stonks" meme with the Steam logo overlayed onto it. The meme depicts a man in a suit with numbers trending upwards.
(Image credit: Jon Bolding)

The big mark Steam has been building towards all year has been met: As of the morning of January 2nd, 2021, Steam's all-time peak concurrent connected user count broke the 25 million mark. To be precise, the high was 25,415,080 per the trackers over at SteamDB. It's a new high for a new year where clearly, more people than ever are playing PC games through the platform.

However, much like last month's record, the users reporting as in-game didn't manage to crack the record set in the last week of March this year. Some 8.1 million players were in-game in March, while just 7.4 million were in games today. That said, today's goal continues the trend of Valves free-to-play games leading the way, with CS:GO reporting more than a million, per usual, while Dota 2 neared 700k and PUBG cleared 400k. Singleplayer games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Stardew Valley both contributed in the top 10 among perennially popular games like GTAV and Rust.

With this barrier cracked, it seems like Steam's numerical exploits are becoming more "inevitability" than "news." I'll get back to you when Steam reaches something like 30 million players, or maybe when it cracks 10 million players online and in-game. With 2021 shaping up to be a year where people will stay indoors and work from home to be better safe than sorry, we might just get there sooner than we'd like.

Sorry in advance for jinxing it!

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.