This past weekend Steam has set a new record for concurrent users on the platform, with a peak of 20,313,451 players logging in and playing games on March 15th. CS:GO, Dota 2, PUBG, GTA V, and Rainbow Six Siege held the honor of being some of the most-played games on the platform these past few days. Call of Duty: Warzone also managed an impressive amount of users, gaining more than 15 million players this week.
Steam and gaming, in general, have become major distractions for many, as bars and theaters close around the world to try and slow the spread of the disease that actually led to this news. And even though this is true, games have not been immune to the sting of social disruption. Gaming events across the globe have been canceled amid the general economic chaos of these last few weeks.
Although with the circumstances that led to the record-setting user numbers, the mark is a bit of a black spot on the gaming industry and human civilization at large. The spread of COVID-19 has gone global and continues to lead to disruptions in our lives. As of now, there are over 170,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, resulting in 6,500 fatalities.
The disease poses severe risk for many, leading to a higher rate of death than similar viruses, with around 3% of all cases proving fatal. And with some populations, it appears to be a much higher risk for those above the age of 50.
China, along with Italy and Iran accounts for the majority of the cases in the world. The US is quickly headed for a situation similar to that of Italy, which is most alarming. The USA has performed around 20,000 tests for the disease in total, less than 1/3 that of Italy, with a very similar number of cases being seen in the USA compared to Italy. This would suggest that spread in the country is far worse than official tallies, and it could lead to thousands more deaths.