Steam broke a major milestone in terms of concurrent players using the platform over the weekend, surpassing 30 million.
Like Tom’s Hardware (opens in a new tab) spotted, the number of concurrent players on Steam reached 30,032,005 on October 23rd.
Note that there’s a distinction here regarding those active users, as they weren’t necessarily playing games at the same time – some of them might have been browsing the store, forums, or any of the other things you can get on Valve’s platform besides actually playing games. . (8.5 million were in-game, actually, which falls short of the record on that score – Steam topped 9 million before).
Any way you dice it, though, that’s a lot of people on Steam, and numbers have grown since the pandemic hit, and more people have started playing as a result.
Momentum has gathered a lot since the beginning of 2021, when the record number of concurrent players reached 25.4 million, and accelerated to 27.4 million at the end of last year. Then in March 2022 the record came close to 30 million, but fell only slightly – but now, that milestone has finally fallen.
Analysis: PC gaming is here to stay, ports and all
Such progress according to active Steam users is certainly a sign that the PC gaming industry remains in good health. It’s welcome news in the face of a lot of doom and gloom lately around the PC market experiencing a drop in sales, and a drop in related components as well, such as system RAM and graphics cards.
And when that old “PC gaming is dead” thing pops up periodically, as it inevitably does, Steam’s continued upward progress in this regard certainly paints a different picture to that pessimistic picture.
There are many positives for PC gaming right now, such as graphics card prices finally returning to MSRP – or even below. That’s another thing to consider: this push was built in a tough environment for PC gaming, certainly on the GPU front, where things have been too expensive for quite some time.
We also feel that another major plus point for modern-day PC gaming is how many more big console exclusives are now making their way to the platform, with high-quality ports often offering more than the machine they came from.
We’re thinking especially of PlayStation exclusives that are adapted like God of War or Horizon: Zero Dawn, complete with benefits like support for ultra-wide screens, higher and smoother frame rates (don’t forget DLSS and FSR in that department), and even improvements for the controls (as well as all the data as mods).
Throw in head-turning innovations like the Steam Deck, and somehow, it’s hardly surprising that even with some headwinds for PC gaming, the accumulated ranks of these players continue to swell according to Steam’s statistics.