ACC Playercount Round-up: January 2021

Over the course of 2020, I kept track of the Assetto Corsa Competizione’s (ACC) playercount. 2021 will be no different, as I continue to delve into the number of players racing in ACC. Will ACC be able to continue its strong end of the year boost into 2021? Now that January is over, it’s time to look back and reflect!

A little TL;DR in advance:

  • This was the biggest month so far at 4,501 (175 higher than November 2020);
  • The continued lockdown keeps people inside and racing;
  • February will likely destroy January if the British GT DLC releases this month.

In this article I analyze the playercounts from Assetto Corsa Competizione using data from both steamdb and steamcharts. I implement these into my own spreadsheets, making my own easy-to-read (I hope) graphs.

January 2021 playercount

December 2020 ended the year with a very strong performance, especially after Christmas. Concurrent peak playercounts were regularly above 4,000 players. I can proudly say, January 2021 took December 2020 and ate it for breakfast, as can be seen in figure 1 below.

Figure 1: peak concurrent playercounts for January

In fact, the peak concurrent playercount didn’t even dip below the 4,000 concurrent players. The lowest peak concurrent was on Wednesday January 20th with a peak concurrent of 4,049. The highest number was Saturday January 9th, with a peak number of 5,250.

Because of this, I decided to increase the scale on these graphs from 0 – 6,000 to 0 – 8,000. More on that later!

There is even a slight upward trendline visible, indicating that the month finished stronger than it started. This means that it is likely we’ll see this trend continue into February.

Figure 2: weekly averages

Taking a look at the week-by-week in figure 2 above, the first full week (Jan. 4th – Jan 10th) had the highest average (4,572), while the second week had the lowest (4,417). This variance of only 155 shows a remarkable consistency within the numbers.

The average peak concurrent playercount for this month was 4,501, a growth of 483 or 12% over December 2020 (figure 3). It is also 175 more than the biggest month before this one, November 2020.

Figure 3: month-over-month growth percentages

While November’s numbers were boosted by the release of the 2020 season DLC, January was able to achieve these numbers organically. What’s even more surprising is that there were no patches released in January (the most recent update, v1.6.6, was released December 22nd).

This probably means one or two things:

  1. Kunos enjoyed a bit of a (well-deserved) winter break
  2. They are hard at work preparing for the release of the British GT DLC.

Putting the playercount in context

Not only the peak concurrent playercount showed numbers never before seen, the true average playercount (taken from a daily, 24-hour monitoring) increased, as can be seen in figure 4.

Figure 4: total player count averages

In this graph it is becoming increasingly clear how the playercount is developing, and more importantly: what could be causing it.

The biggest rises in playercounts happened in April 2020 and November 2020. This coincides with the first and second COVID-19 waves in the Western hemisphere. I truly believe there’s a deep connection between the two. On the one hand, you have people forced inside without social obligations, on the other you have these numbers. Coincidence? I think not.

Figure 5: absolute monthly growth

Figure 5 is a new one to these posts. I think there’s value in showing the monthly change of averages, next to the percentage based one. It shows the absolute change of the average peak concurrent playercount, both positive and negative growth.

Looking forward

Next up will be February (duh). February will be another big one, most likely shattering the records set in January.

Why? Well, I highly suspect the British GT DLC will drop this month.

The release of any DLC traditionally comes with a large peak on release day. This peak is only for day 1, but it generally maintains a high player activity during the two weeks after as well.

This is also the reason why I increased the scale to 0 – 8,000, as I suspect the peak concurrent the day the DLC drops might reach well into the 7,000 peak concurrent players.

If the current growth-rate is maintained, 7,000 might well be the average at the end of this year, but a lot can happen until that time comes.

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