Over last week’s festivities, hundreds of millions of console gamers were left out in the cold because of the hacking attacks on both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Meanwhile over in the realm of PC gaming, the platform’s equivalent to PSN and XBL, Steam, recorded a record 8.5 million concurrent users.
The precise number, 8,500,245, was recorded on January 2 at 11:10 am. Back in June 2014, that number sat at 8,020,700, and in December 2013 there were 7.5 million users. This marks a 13 percent increase of users within the span of a year.
When looked at from a much larger scale, Steam has achieved a 42 percent increase in users since November 2012, when it’s user base sat at approximately 6 million.
The boost in numbers was no doubt aided by the recent Steam Christmas sale, which saw just about every title under the sun on sale at deep discounts.
The steady growth of Steam’s user base is a strong sign that PC gaming, long considered under threat from a more dominant console scene, was in its twilight years. Although many triple A publishers like EA, Activision and Ubisoft have long since turned their backs on the PC, the surge in indie games, as well as more ambitious projects funded through Kickstarter like Wasteland 2 and Star Citizen, has given the platform a significant advantage over its console brethren.
Currently, the most played games on Steam are, to no one’s surprise, Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Team Fortress 2.