As the coronavirus rampantly spreads across the globe, whole countries are hitting the pause button on everyday life. People are staying indoors, working from home, and distancing themselves from others. And they're playing video games. Lots and lots of video games.
According to Steam DB's metrics, Counter-Strike: GO just broke over 1 million concurrent users in the last 24 hours. CS:GO is now the third Steam game to break 1 million players online at once, topped by DOTA 2's 1.2 million and PUBG's titanic 3.2 million. At the time of writing, CS:GO has over 930,000 active players. To put this number into perspective, roughly 1/9th or 11% of Steam's 90 million MAUs are playing Counter-Strike right now.
Valve might owe a lot of those numbers to the coronavirus outbreak as gamers and consumers stick indoors, especially in overseas regions like China and Italy, both of which have instituted mass shutdowns of businesses, gatherings, and social events.
CS:GO isn't the only game to see a massive uptick in players. Call of Duty: Warzone, the new free-to-play battle royale from Activision, has skyrocketed to 15 million players. The game saw a tremendous 9 million player spike in just two days time, and is growing faster than Apex Legends and Fortnite in comparative launch timing.
It also helps that ISPs are upgrading internet speeds and removing data caps during the coronavirus crisis. This will of course lead to a lot of streaming, gaming, and downloading across the globe.
I fully expect to see digital game sales and in-game purchase revenues jump on the heels of the coronavirus outbreak, and it'll be very interesting to see what each publisher has to say during the next fiscal earnings reports.