Sometimes Steam is used as a key indicator of PC hardware trends. For example, reports might pick apart its monthly hardware survey data to see the state of play in the battle between AMD and Nvidia, comment on the ascent of 6-core CPUs, or illustrate a step-change in the VR headset market. However, Steam also offers an overview of the popularity of PC gaming as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, destinations for gamers. Today, we're focusing on these figures as Steam edges inexorably and steadily towards breaking the 30M concurrent user milestone.
In a blog post today about the latest record-breaking concurrent user figures, TheGamer remarks that Steam started 2022 with nearly 28M and has now breached 29.2M. This recent spurt marks a pretty swift move up in numbers. A concurrent record was announced at the start of the New Year with 28.2M users, and two weeks later, Valve is eating into the last million before the 30M milestone is breached.
If you are wondering if there are any specific triggers for the recent growth, there are several factors at play, as usual. First, the post notes that Valve's CS:GO and Dota 2 are entertaining an ever-growing, highly engaged section of users, with these games achieving over 900K and 787K active gamers, respectively, within the last 24 hours.
Another significant impactful event spurring recent growth might be the recent move of PUBG: Battlegrounds to the F2P model. This already popular foundational Battle Royale title surely gained many new fans after becoming a freebie. In the last 24 hours, Steam says PUBG engaged over 600K Steam gamers.
Finally, it is worth repeating TheGamer's observation that it often notes a tapering off of peak user figures after the holiday period, but that is yet to happen this year. Steam's answer to the continued progress as we move into late January basically amounts to mentioning "the ongoing pandemic and perhaps a few late Christmas presents." Now place your bets on the Steam concurrent user record as we end 2022.