Steam And Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Set New Concurrent User Records Sunday

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The now eight year old game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which Valve made free to play last year, set a new all time high for concurrent users on Sunday with a 24 hour peak at 901,681 players. The Steam store and launcher set a new all time high with a peek of 19,107,803 concurrent users.

written by 林慧 (Wai Lin) 2020-02-10 - last edited 2020-02-10. © CC BY

Counter-Strike 4K linux-5.1.16.jpg
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is more popular than ever.

Valve, the company behind Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the Steam store and launcher, is the by far the most Linux-friendly video game corporation even though Linux gamers account for less than one percent of their user-base.

A record high 19,107,803 concurrent Steam users and 901,681 concurrent CS:GO players this Sunday is therefore somewhat good news for Linux users. Valve contributes to or funds several important pieces of free software such as the the Mesa graphics stack and the kwin window manager for KDE Plasma. The ACO shader compiler for the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver for AMD graphics cards is made by Valve. Perhaps more important to those who play games, the Steam store and launcher has a native Linux client and two of the five most played games on Steam Sunday were free to play games with native Linux versions:

Five most played games on Steam February 9th, 2020
Game Concurrent Players (peak) Native Linux version free to play
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 901,681 yes yes
Dota 2 664,196 yes yes
Grand Theft Auto V 268,705 No no

CS:GO's sudden popularity may have something to do with the many "Operation Shattered Web" mission updates the game got the last two months. It may also have to do with the simple fact that it is one of the best optimized first person shooter games and the best optimized first person shooter game with native Linux support. It runs smoothly at 4k 60fps on cheap old mid-range graphics cards like the AMD RX 570.

Epic Games is the only other game studio which comes close to being as Linux friendly as Valve is. They don't actually contribute anything to any free software projects themselves and their "Epic Games Store" doesn't even have a native Linux version, but they have thrown big money at Krita at tons of money at the free software Godot game engine. Electronic Arts, who was named "Worst Company in America" by the Consumerist in 2012 and 2013, is outright hostile towards Linux users.

The Steam store and launcher is available in the standard repositories on Fedora, Manjaro Linux, Ubuntu and most other GNU/Linux distributions. You can just install it, sign up for a free Steam account and start playing CS:GO without paying a dime if you like video games and you have time to play them.

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