Steam broke its previous records, and today Sunday October 23rd hit a total of 30,012,957 users online at the same time. This is courtesy of Steam’s own charts (opens in a new tab)though SteamDB (opens in a new tab) scores a little higher: 30,032,005.
That is roughly the population of Ghana, the 48th most populous country in the world.
Steam has been increasing for a long time, but exponentially since 2020, when Covid lockdown increased numbers in big waves. Although it is impossible to say without a thorough study, these gaming habits have stuck with some much longer than one might expect. The rapid growth of Steam in recent years far exceeds its past growth: For comparison, it took 14 years for Steam to grow to 15 million concurrent users peak in 2017, but only 5 years for the next 15 million.
Back in January 2021 Steam passed the 25 million mark after a year of spikes and new records. At the time I vowed to write more stories about Steam discs, we had been writing them all year and I was sick of it. It wasn’t news anymore, just a given. “With this barrier cracked, it seems like Steam’s numerical achievements are becoming more ‘inevitability’ than ‘news’. I’ll get back to you when Steam hits something like 30 million players,” I said. (opens in a new tab)
True to my word, here I am. We are at 30 million after another (opens in a new tab) few (opens in a new tab) years (opens in a new tab) of (opens in a new tab) growing heights (All reported by my colleagues, I note. If I sound sanctimonious, it’s because I am, and you would be too if you remembered to do so.)
And, well, there you have it. A remarkable new high for a section of our hobby.