Steam Reaches 8.5 Million Concurrent Users, Sets New Record Following Holiday Sale
Steam has hit a new record high for concurrent users early on in 2015, with more than 8.5 million people playing at once earlier today.
Game Informer originally reported a new record high for January 1, which reached around 8.46 million users, but today's traffic has surpassed even that. Steam's stats page displayed the new high at around 11:30 a.m. today (time zone unclear).
The 8 million concurrent user milestone had been passed back in June, so it's taken a while to reach this new plateau. It would be interesting to know Steam's overall growth over this time, but the concurrent user numbers make it clear the player base is growing.
Several factors undoubtedly contributed to the new record: many users likely were gifted new games over the holidays, Steam's own holiday sale was no doubt prompting people to buy and play new games, and millions of gamers (particularly anyone school-aged) around the country were on vacation this week. Altogether, it was a perfect storm of reasons to play games en masse over this weekend.
The previous 8 million milestone, for what it's worth, followed the same logic--the number was reached on June 29, the encore sales day of the Summer Sale. At this rate, 9 million concurrent users should be hit in a few months, likely whenever the next major sale is launched. Congratulations, Valve!