More people are playing PC games than ever 
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Matt Buckley
December 31, 2013 at 9:00 am

Well, at least on Steam.

According to the official Steam & Game Stats page for Valve’s game distribution service, the number of concurrent Steam users hit an all-time high on 12/29/13 with a peak of 7,679,815.

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This figure eclipses the record 7 million set only a month ago, and far exceeds the 6 million mark recorded in 2012.

The game largely responsible for this new record is Dota 2, accounting for more than half a million concurrent users at any given time, drastically outpacing any other game on Steam. At the time of this writing, the runner up is Left 4 Dead 2 at just over 100,000 concurrent users, followed by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2, with Football Manager 2014 rounding out the top 5 – though The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim seems to be peeking into these ranks regularly.

Also likely responsible for this record-setting event is the ongoing 2013 Steam Holiday Sale, which started on Dec 19th. From now until Friday, logging on to Steam’s store will present you with countless occurrences of the service’s famous sales often reaching discounts of 75% off or greater. Between the Daily Deals, Flash Sales, Community’s Choice, and Yesterday’s Big Deals sections, it’s easy to see why so many people have logged on to Steam lately.

It would be interesting to see how these statistics compare to those of Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Nintendo Network, but none of those services are quite as transparent as Valve’s. If nothing else, though, Steam’s new high-water mark shows that PC gaming is healthier than ever, even in the wake of the first holiday season of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.

Lifetime gamer from the early days of the Atari 2600. I'm a PC gamer at heart, but got love for all platforms -- more games for everyone!

  • Hammersteyn

    What worries me is that most of the games mentioned seems to be MP only. I hope we aren’t going to see MP outnumber SP games. Even though MP games does provide seemingly unlimited amount of revenue through subscriptions, microtransactions and DLC packs.

    • Uberutang

      You do not need to be online to play SP…

      • Hammersteyn

        That’s the one saving grace, but how many gaming PC’s aren’t connected to the internet and how many PS4 and XBOX One aren’t going to be online.

        • Uberutang

          Well all Xbones need to be online at least once to get the ‘offline’ patch.

          Honestly I do not see the point of going offline on any platform. The good stuff is all in the MP and Coop anyway, except for a few core games that allow for brilliant mods that make SP worth while.

          On holidays I usually set my steam to ‘offline’ when I want to catch up on my SP library.

    • David

      MP games have replayability. SP games do not. Braid is my favorite game but wouldn’t even get in my top 5 most played because it is short with small replayability. SP games are still being played but not enough people will play the same game at the same time to get high in the charts.
      Also, Skyrim.

  • ElimiNathan

    Master race is growing

    • VampyricSquirrel Monk

      No… Master race was on holiday…

  • BeatzByChrisBrown

    Praise GabeN, savior of PC gaming!

    • Mark Treloar

      Yes, he created the worlds best DRM.

  • Mark Treloar

    Notice how no COD titles feature in the top 10. The Banana’s personal favorite is still going strong.

  • http://www.lazygamer.net Gavin Mannion

    I can’t believe how mammoth DOTA is…

    • bowlingotter

      I’m also pretty shocked how much playtime Left 4 Dead 2 still gets.

      • davidrobots

        Well, Valve did just give it away for free. I’m sure that has something to do with it.

  • bigshynepo

    I recently bought a new computer and have bought a half dozen games on steam as a result, I already had about 20. Having a better computer has inclined me to play my PC games alot more but it set me back 700 with a monitor. I’m glad steam is doing good and haven’t taken to shafting the user in typical corperate fashion.

    I am with they other people who say it seem like 7 million was low considering there are almost 70 million steam accounts. Still, very impressive numbers, congratulations Valve and PC gamers alike.

  • Heyjoe

    When steam invades the living room with the steam box I speculate that 7.6 million will not be that big of a number.

  • Phlo

    I have just past 220+ games in my Steam library. The platform is just all win. Those DOTA numbers are pretty awesome. I never played because people tell me the community is too brutal to new players.

  • Rags

    Think I am going to hook up 2 xbox controllers and buy some Steam Big Picture games :) So I can put my machine in the living room over weekends and invite the friends over! Now I have a console and a kickass workstation :)

  • Lindsay

    Nice work with the misleading clickbait headline.

    More like Lazyjournalism.

    • bowlingotter

      I’m sorry you found it misleading. Steam is the only measurable variable available for PC gaming activity, so I found it appropriate. Most Steam users ever = most measurable amount of PC gamers ever.

  • VampyricSquirrel Monk

    I wonder how many of those DOTA players are ex WoW players… seeing as though they’ve lost a couple million players in the last while and most of the ones I know went over to Guild Wars 2, LoL or DOTA.

    It amazes me that 3 years ago, there were up to 7 million people playing World of Warcraft at any given time, down to no less than 3.5 million. Now… hahaha… down to probably 6.5 million subscribers (last count I’m aware of was 7.7 mill in July 2013 and were losing about 1 mill subscribers per quarter). LoL and DOTA are so much bigger than WoW, and not all the numbers show on Steam thanks to cracks, offline play, etc.

    • Warren O’Reilly

      Just because you play DOTA or LoL doesn’t mean you don’t play WoW and just because you stopped playing WoW doesn’t mean you’re going to play DOTA or LoL.

      I used to play WoW and fucking hate DOTA, LoL, HoN and pretty much the entire MOBA genre. MOBA games probably could be fun but there’s a steep learning curve to them and the “communities” are fucking toxic. It’s hard to play a team game when you absolutely hate the people on your own team.

      Most of the people I know who quit WoW just play regular games.

      • VampyricSquirrel Monk

        I do realize that Warren, I didn’t intend to generalize on the whole people leave WoW to go to a MOBA thing. I just know quite a few people that left WoW for some or other MOBA. I also realize that there are a lot more gamers in the world than there were 3 years ago, so adding a couple million people into the world just for LoL or DOTA isn’t completely ridiculous.

        Each to their own, everyone’s different, etc, I too hate MOBA’s in general, tried a few, didn’t like them and left them.

        I was basically wondering how many of those people now on DOTA are ex-WoW players. *shrug*

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