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Steam rockets to 22 million players thanks to coronavirus quarantines

As COVID-19 pauses other industries, the games business is booming and Steam's playerbase surges

Derek Strickland | Mar 22, 2020 at 05:40 pm CDT (1 min, 37 secs reading time)

Steam just hit over 22.6 million concurrent active users on the platform, representing a huge 2.6 million users spike in a week's time.

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Gaming is a go-to escape from the rampant coronavirus threat that rages outside our doors, and millions of people are logging onto Steam to distract themselves with PC games. Steam's playerbase just hit an all-time record high of 22,678, 529 users, up 15% from last week's 19.72 million.

Bear in mind only a portion of these users were actually playing games at the time. Only about 33% or so of online Steam users were playing games at the time. The rest could've been idle, buying games, or browsing the marketplace.

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Counter-Strike benefited from the player spike the most. The 8 year-old shooter has now amassed more than 1.1 million players online at the same time, up over 100,000 players in little over a week.

At the time of writing, Counter-Strike: GO is the top-played Steam game and could soon dethrone DOTA 2 as the second most-played Steam game of all time. I expect Steam's digital game sales to skyrocket as consumers stay indoors and avoid retail markets, and as people get tired of streaming Netflix all the time.

Other non-Steam games like Call of Duty Warzone have likewise jumped tremendously. Warzone's userbase has grown to over 30 million players, representing a 200% increase in a week.

Derek Strickland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Derek Strickland

Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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