Maybe it’s due to bad weather, or more likely self-isolation from COVID-19, either way, popular PC gaming platform Steam just smashed its record for concurrent players reaching just shy of 20 million over the weekend.
According to Steam’s own statistics tracker, peak player count hit 19,728,027 users Saturday morning, or late Saturday if we’re talking Australian EDT. The previous Steam record was set back in February this year with around 18.8 million concurrent players, making the new record close to 1 million greater.
Of course, record-high player count means new records for particular games with the popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) peaking at 1,007,062 players, while DOTA 2 peaked at 694,829. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) peaked at 525,462 players, while Rainbow Six Siege and Grand Theft Auto Online rounded out the top five.
The Steam user record follows a string of cancelled music festivals, sporting events and film releases, all concerning the pandemic that is Coronavirus or COVID 19. The NBA season was suspended after a player tested positive for Coronavirus, while Coachella, the Australian GP and Ultra Music festival are cancelled. The upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die is also postponed until November 2020.
Late last week, the Australian government implemented a ban on public gatherings of over 500 people and continues to evaluate the situation. For now, here’s the Australian government’s official Coronavirus advice. Looking for positives within the global crisis, avoiding public gatherings frees a lot of time to play video games, and the record high player count means you should never be short of a full match in your favourite online games.