ACC player counts in review: December 2023

It’s now 2024! So, first of all: Happy New Year! Second of all, this means that there’s a whole December’s month of quantitative player data to review. What has the past month brought for Assetto Corsa Competizione’s (ACC) player activity? Did people buy the game during the Steam Winter Sale? Or did they prefer their Christmas Turkey over their favourite GT4, GT3 and (soon to be) GT2 racing sim? If you want to find out, I suggest you read on!

A short TL;DR in advance:

  • December is the game’s best December yet, rounding out the game’s best year-to-date
  • Although December scored a bit less than November, this fits the general trend for December
  • The holidays caused people to play more during non-peak hours, causing the non-peak average to soar.

In this series of articles – I’ve been doing this since March 2020 – I analyze the playercounts from Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC) using data from steamdb. I implement the data into my own spreadsheets, creating my own graphics and tables.

Looking back: November 2023

Fig. 1: Daily player counts for November 2023

Before we look at the numbers from December, though, let us look back at the numbers (fig. 1 on the right) and the TL;DR of the November 2023 review below.

  • November was a good month for ACC, but it’s stability means rather boring data;
  • New Year-on-Year-records continue to be set, with ACC performing strongly all year;
  • When the next DLC releases remains the big question for future records.
November 2023 TL;DR

Now that we got this out of the way, let’s see how December’s player activity developed throughout the month!

December 2023: Comparing daily ACC player counts

Fig. 2: Peak concurrent (red) and average (grey) player counts

December starts following the regular pattern: Saturday through Mondays are high, anything in between is low. However, before the second weekend, we already see a tiny disruption on the 15th. I seem to recall there was a server issue around peak hours, which could explain this disruption of the pattern.

Afterwards, however, the pattern is totally gone. The reason being, ofcourse, Christmas and the holidays. Christmas’ Eve dipped down to 4049. This happens every December. Relatively speaking, this year’s effect was relatively small even.

Helped by the Steam Winter Sale, the game climbed back up to a level above the 5K-line. December 30th scored the months’ highest peak concurrent players, with 5729.

The effect the Winter holiday has on player activity is much better visible on the average player activity, which has been steadily climbing even during regular working days.

Fig. 3: Daily player counts for 2023

Adding the numbers from figure 2 to figure 3 completes the yearly activity graph. I will analyze this graph further in the upcoming yearly round-up!

December 2023: Comparing weekly ACC player counts

Fig. 4: Weekly average concurrent player counts for 2023 so far.

These weekly averages show that we are a bit behind November, but not by much. A clear dip can be seen for the week ending with Christmas Eve, while the last week of the year shows a strong recovery – especially if looking at the total average due to people playing more during non-peak hours.

Fig. 5: Weekly average peak concurrent player counts for 2023 so far (red) compared to 2022 (white) and 2021 (grey).

This year’s Christmas dip is no surprise, as similar trends were had in previous years, as can be seen in figure 5 above. The dip falls right between the dips we had in 2022 and 2021 in terms of severity.

December 2023: Comparing monthly ACC player counts

Fig. 6: All-time peak and average player counts

December scored an average peak concurrent player count of 4841, which is trending lower than the past couple of months. November had 5090, meaning December had a loss of 4.89% or 249 peak concurrent players.

On the upside, though, the non-peak average player count has gone up by nearly 5%.

Fig. 7: Relative growth of monthly average peak player counts

A decline in December is not out of the ordinary. Only in 2021 there was an increase in player count. That year, the BMW M4 GT3 released along with the big v1.8 update in late November, causing the player count to be boosted throughout the month and well into early 2022.

Fig. 8: Relative growth since January 2020, grouped by month
Fig. 9: Absolute growth since January 2020
Fig. 10: Absolute growth since January 2020, grouped by month
Fig. 11: Monthly peak averages, grouped by month

December 2023 was the best December we’ve had (so far), but not by much (figure 11 above and figure 12 below). The aforementioned v1.8 release in November 2021 caused December 2022 to (in hindsight) stick out compared to both 2020 and 2022. Figure 12 also shows that for most of this year (except Q1), we’ve stayed above previous years…

Fig. 12: Monthly peak concurrent averages by year
Fig. 13: 12-month running average of peak concurrent player counts

…which caused the Year-on-Year average to keep growing, it now being 4864. If January scores anywhere above January 2023 (4913), this trend will continue for next year. And with the new GT2 DLC announced for next month, this seems a very real possibility.

Looking ahead: 2024

December was the best December up-to-date to round out the best year ACC has had up-to-date, on average at least. But who knows what 2024 might bring?

In the very short term at least, it will bring the GT2 DLC in January. The exact date remains unknown – at least to me. There has been some activity on the KS_beta_testing branch. I reckon some of the top-tier simracing influencers already have some form of beta access.

Other than the GT2 DLC, 2024 will most likely see two other things: the addition of the Nordschleife to the game (which will probably cause all records for the game to break) and more information on what AC2 will be, and what it would mean for the future of ACC.

2024 might be ACCs best year to come. But, paradoxically, it could also signal the end of ACC. Kunos is not a big enough team to be able to actively support two games at once. Assetto Corsa 2’s development will most likely cause the team to announce ACC to be feature complete, and shift it towards maintenance mode. I.e. only fix things that are broken.

What are your thoughts on the future of ACC? Let me know in the comments below!

Overview & Previous Articles






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