If you're at home right now and not working - or not working as much - then video games are a pretty natural distraction from All Of This Other Stuff. And the increased availability of people's time for gaming is having an impact on Steam's concurrent player records - as another milestone was passed, over the weekend just gone.
Gamespot reports that the PC gaming platform has now recorded a new high of 26 million simultaneous users - though it's worth noting that just because someone's logged into Steam, it doesn't mean they're playing a game. Nevertheless, a record is a record and they're all players, of a kind.
Check out how into his game this PC user is - strong relate, friend, strong relate
The exact number - 26,299,026 - was posted to Twitter by games business analyst Piers Harding-Rolls, who adds that "in-game CCUs have not matched the record set in March 2020".
And CCUs are what, exactly, I hear you ask. That'll be concurrently connected users. So the number of folk who are all in the same game, at the same time. And from what we can tell, that record remains the 1,124,533 set by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in March 2020. (That number reflects the Steam Charts peak players record, anyway.)
Steam platform concurrent users have breached 26m for the first time today- Piers Harding-Rolls (@PiersHR) February 7, 2021
Post 1st lockdown growth in Q1 2020, new records for PCCUs have been set in Jan and Feb 2021
Note: in-game CCUs have not matched the record set in March 2020 pic.twitter.com/xVhlwy780Y
In a later tweet, Harding-Rolls says that he puts the new record down to "increased use of Steam as a social platform," adding: "A lot of new and returning users due to pandemic have stayed active on the platform. Increasing share of users auto sign into Steam at Windows start up/login and don't necessarily game."
This peak of 26,299,026 beats the previous records set in January 2021, and February 2021. The takeaway: people are staying in, because the weather's awful, and are playing games and/or hanging out on Steam to interact with pals they can't see IRL. Can't wait to see the sun again, how about you.
In related Steam news, some players feel their prices are too high and are going to court over it, and the early access Viking survival game Valheim is proving quite the hit over there, right now.
Featured Image Credit: Steam/Valve
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