It was a record-breaking holiday season for Steam, as Valve’s digital PC storefront reached a new all-time record for most concurrent users. However, the actual number of people playing games as opposed to having the Steam client open, did not break a record.
According to Steam’s own public stats, sometime around January 2, there were more than 25.4 million people logged into Steam at the same time. That’s a new all-time high.
Now, this doesn’t mean that more than 25 million people were playing games on Steam at the same time. The majority of accounts were idle on the day the record was broken, according to PCGamer. The site notes that 7.4 million people were playing games on Steam during the record-breaking day. This is not a record, as 8.1 million people were logged into Steam, and playing games, back in March 2020.