updated 08:07 pm EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
Service hits eight million concurrent peak users, breaking previous record
Valve's Steam platform draws the attention of all sorts of consumers during its seasonal sales, from gamers looking for a large price break to the completists that feel a need to buy everything that goes on sale. With gamers coming out in droves during the most recent Steam summer sale, which concluded earlier this week, a new milestone was reached for the service. On the final day of the sale, over eight million concurrent users showed up for a last shot at the deals.
In a thread on NeoGAF, attention was drawn to the peak on Sunday, bringing with it the importance of the number. Previously, the record for the simultaneous connections went to the 2013 winter sale. As a Gamespot poster indicated, the peak on December 26 broke 7.5 million. Polygon reports 7 million users were online at once in early December.
User growth has gone up year after year for the gaming platform, as stated at the Steam Dev Days business update presentation earlier in the year. In 2011, the service had a total of 44 million 90-day active accounts. That number rose to 75 million in 2013, measuring accounts that were active in the community or own a product. A study from Ars Technica indicates that the overall user count is much greater, coming in at closer to 172 million in its count of Steam community pages.
While the sales have drawn in a large number of PC gamers, it isn't solely responsible for the boom in users. The number of games released on the platform -- be it for Windows, OS X or Linux-based machines -- have increased since 2011. The increasing number of "indie" developers, Steam Greenlight and early-access games greatly contributed to the growth.
During the same Dev Days presentation, the total number of games released on Steam was revealed to number 323 for 2011. That number grew slightly in 2012, topping out at 382. For 2013, there was nearly a 66 percent increase over the previous year, with a staggering 636 games released.
As of the time of this article, the peak concurrent users from June 29 to Jul 1 still sits over the December sale mark at 7.6 million. Those that wish to follow Steam's growth can watch the two-day trend of users at the service's statistics page.