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For the first time in Steam‘s history, more than 10 million players were playing in-game at the same time.
This was then surpassed again the following day, hitting a peak of 10,284,568.
During the same period the service also hit a new all-time peak of overall concurrent users, reaching a high point of 33,078,963.
The concurrent users stat is the one most often cited in reports because it’s the higher number, but this also includes users who are signed into Steam but aren’t playing anything and just have the client software running in the background.
The concurrent in-game players stat, on the other hand, denotes how many people are actually actively playing games at the same time.
Steam first passed 30 million concurrent users during a weekend in mid-October 2022, and went on to pass the same milestone during every consecutive weekend.
Since 2023 started, the service has hit 30 million concurrent users at some point every day.
However, a concurrent player count of more than 10 million users had evaded Steam until this past weekend, when the milestone was finally passed.
Valve confirmed last year that its usual Lunar New Year Sale won’t take place in 2023 and will instead be replaced by a Spring Sale, in order to make more of a gap after its Winter Sale (which ended on January 5).
Lunar New Year occurs on January 22 this year. Valve said it introduced Steam’s Lunar New Year Sale in 2016 following an influx of developers and customers from territories like Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and South Korea.
“However, over the years we’ve received feedback that Lunar New Year was often much too close to the December holiday sale period,” it explained.
“We think many publishers will still opt to discount games around the Lunar New Year holiday, using the custom discount tools. But we suspect customers will be better served by a little bit more time between the big Steam-wide seasonal sales.”