Steam Passes 14 Million Concurrent Users for First Time Ever [PC Gamer] “Steam has surpassed 14 million concurrent users. The milestone was hit early January 7 and peaked at 14,207,039, according to Steam's stats page. It's now back to the mid-to-high 13 millions. Unsurprisingly, Dota 2 was the game with the highest concurrent player count at the peak today with 951,942 concurrent players. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive followed with 675,195 players, while Grand Theft Auto V rounded out the top three with 116,230. It's worth underlining that concurrent users isn't the same as concurrent players. The 14,207,039 number includes users who have Steam running in the background while they're doing other things or away from the PC altogether. Still, the figure is one measurement of Steam's growth over time.”
Valve's annual Dota 2 championship was record breaking last year. It took 3 months to raise the prize pool by a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding from 1.6 million USD to 2.8 million USD. This year it took a little more than 1 week to raise the prize pool from the same 1.6 million USD to 5 million USD. And the tournament will only start in mid July. At this rate, even if the winners had never won cash before (and assuming they will the take half of the total money), they will become the highest earner in esports of all time.
Wayside Creations: the studio that produced the surprisingly high-budget fallout Fan series: Nuka Break (with Dougie Jones!) (previously, previously) have turned their attention to the office politics of our favorite hive of mad science: Aperture R&D.
Portal 2 has finally hit the streets, and despite a somewhat rocky start with their controversial promotional ARG (previously), it looks to be a huge success. Interestingly for such a critically-acclaimed blockbuster, the title's core ideas steam from a pair of concept projects from student design school DigiPen: the original portal system from Narbacular Drop (video - download - previously) and the sequel's physics-altering gels from Tag: The Power of Paint (video - download - previously - previouslier). Combine these innovative ideas with some Lost-meets-Life After People level design, excellent voice acting, and top-notch writing, and it's easy to see why so many people called in sick this past week. But playing the game is just the beginning -- look inside for a collection of easter eggs, story theories, videos, and other goodies from the post-mortem. [more inside]
Gnome Chompski: The Game. I'm sure Noam is secretly a hardcore videogamer and he would approve. [more inside]
Dance Fortress 2: The agents of Team Fortress 2 hang loose and party down.
If you don't mind installing Steam and are running a version of Windows, you can download and play Alien Swarm for free. It's a top-down shooter with four-player co-op of you and your friends against the aliens.