Who said PC gaming was dead or is dying? Total concurrent users on Steam just flew past 26.4 million in the last 24 hours, breaking the digital platform’s previous record for the third consecutive month. A global pandemic and lockdowns have clearly worked in favour of the biggest online distributor of PC games.
To illustrate how big a gain Steam experienced, consider this. As PCGamer helpfully noted, it took two whole years for Steam to get from a record of 18.5 million concurrent users (in 2018) to 18.8 million in February 2020.
That being said, the top games and genres on Steam haven’t changed that much. The games on Steam with the most players right now are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, PUBG, Rust, and Apex Legends – not exactly surprising or ground-breaking.
Steam continues shattering its concurrent users records, right now at 26.3 million users! 🚀
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) February 7, 2021
But if you’re betting that Steam’s effective monopoly of the PC gaming market will end soon, think again. Epic Games Store said that its concurrent player count peaked at 13 million in 2020. That may be a respectable number, given that Epic is still young, but it’s hardly a sign that it’s cutting into Steam’s customer base – especially since Steam’s numbers keep growing at an impressive rate.
Some argue that this is terrible for PC gamers everywhere because Steam’s enduring dominance means it can dictate prices for games, making them higher than necessary. Indeed, Steam’s platform owner and operator Value is facing a lawsuit over that very complaint.