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Football Manager 2020 goes free and hits another player count record

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March 19, 2020 Football Manager 2020 has set a new record once again, just a few days after setting its previous player count. Read more below.

Football Manager 2020 has just seen a record number of concurrent players jump into the soccer sim since its release last November. An increase in people self-isolating at home in response to the COVID-19 outbreak could be a contributing factor, of course, but it’s still impressive to hit that number so far after launch.

Game director Miles Jacobson has posted on Twitter that Football Manager 2020 is currently being played by 129,637 via Steam, which is a new record. That’s up from a previous record of 84,000 just a few days ago, though Sega setting Football Manager 2020 free is likely a huge boon.

That’s a pretty steep increase given the sim’s numbers over the past four months. In its launch month it scored just over 68k, with around 75k and just under 78k in the two months following, but it hasn’t dropped off at all since, which you might expect for many games in the months after launch. In February it saw a peak of 82,413 players and now the new record.

For context, the highest all-time peak for Football Manager 2019 was over 10k lower (75,666) than the new FM20 record, while the 2018 game’s peak was 71,279.

Jacobson suggests in his tweet this sharp increase could be due to players increasingly in self-isolation at home following the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus around the world: “Thank you for choosing our work to keep you entertained in this time of self-isolation in many countries around the world. Please keep safe everyone.”

It’s a trend being reflected across PC gaming right now, with Steam reaching a record 20 million concurrent users as the coronavirus spreads, and CS:GO similarly seeing a new record of one million concurrent players, the highest in its seven-year history, following the virus’s outbreak.

The WHO has information and guidance on the COVID-19 virus on its website, which you can find here, as well as advice for the public on how to protect yourself against it.

Additional reporting by Oscar Dayus.

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