PC Gaming hits new levels of popularity we’ve never seen before

Steam Gabe Newell in a priest robe on a holy background

Steam Gabe Newell in a priest robe on a holy background

At StealthOptional, we love PC gaming, and so does the majority of the world. After decades of PC gaming - from Ultima to Doom to Counter-Strike - the medium is somehow more popular than it’s ever been before.

Earlier this week, the best PC gaming marketplace ever made, Steam, revealed it hit its highest number of concurrent players ever. Initially launching in 2004, the platform continues to break records two decades later with tens of millions of gamers playing concurrently.

Via SteamDB, Steam smashed past its all-time concurrent player count with over 34,000,000 active users at once. In fact, the service had a specific total of 34,649,583 with 11,146,564 users actively playing a game at that time.

The same chart revealed that the most active games at the time Steam hit its peak user count were extremely unsurprising. At the top was Counter-Strike 2 with 1,474,396 players, second place was DOTA 2 with 705,679 players and third place was PUBG Battlegrounds with 627,348 players.

Obviously, these numbers only include users from Steam, and PC gaming is bigger than just one platform. There’s the Xbox App, GOG, the Epic Games Store, independent stores like Itch.io and many more places to play games than just Steam, and all of them are continuing to grow. There’s also the continued existence of proprietary launchers such as Ubisoft Connect, EA App and Battle Net.

Of course, Steam’s 34 million users still don’t match the heights of consoles, but PC gaming is still bigger than it has ever been. Even amidst horrid PC ports like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and The Last of Us: Part 1, huge PC-focused launches like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Palworld have continued to push the platform forward.

As it stands, console gaming is still substantially more popular overall with 123 million PlayStation users, 120 million active Xbox users and around 116 million Nintendo Switch users.

Steam is available to download right now for free on PC.

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