Steam continues to be the dominant force in the PC gaming market as the digital storefront reached a new milestone of 14 million concurrent users. This occurred a few days ago on January 7 with 14,207,039 concurrent Steam users. Since then, that number has increased as Steam reached a new peak on late January 8 with 14,370,167 users.
It should be noted that concurrent users is different from the number of people actively using Steam. Concurrent users are those that have Steam simply running on their computers and not necessarily playing a game at the moment. This is an important difference to note because, by default, Steam automatically launches at a computer’s startup.
Regardless of that, this is still a sign of growth for both Steam and the PC market. January of 2016 saw Steam break their 12 million concurrent users milestone and now, just a mere year later, they’ve gained an additional 2 million users.
It’s no real surprise that the number of Steam users seem to spike at the start of a new year. January is the month that immediately follows Steam’s famous Winter sale as well as the holiday season. Not only are people purchasing games for themselves because of the sales, they’re also buying gifts for their friends and family which just continues to grow the platform.
So what exactly were these Steam users doing at this time? Well according to Steam, some of the top games being played were Valve’s own DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at 951,942 and 675,195 users respectively. Following those two was Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V at 116,230 users.
It looks like Steam is starting 2017 with a bang, but will they be able to keep up the momentum? If history is any indication then they probably will, but perhaps 2017 will also be the year for Steam’s competitors to step up to the plate and challenge it for the throne. It’ll be interesting to see how the likes of Origin or Uplay adjust to try and compete with Steam’s large numbers.