Destiny 2 player count

Destiny 2 Player Count is in a Very Healthy Place, With Numbers Continuing to Grow Each Season

It’s hard to believe that the first Destiny launched seven years ago. Destiny 2 is now entering its fourth year, and still boasts a very healthy player base, with numbers that continue to grow. Forbes’ resident Destiny expert, Paul Tassi, crunched some of the numbers with the help of Destiny analytics tracker Charlemagne, and discovered that season over season, Destiny 2’s active player count continues to grow. This is particularly unusual for the end of an expansion’s life, though in many ways, it speaks volumes to the release strategy Bungie has landed on for Destiny 2’s seasonal updates.

At the launch of each of the past three seasons—Season of the Chosen, Season of the Splicer, and the recently launched Season of the Lost—the player counts have been higher than the preceding season. Tassi notes that the only reason that trend doesn’t continue back to Season of the Hunt is because of its simultaneous attachment with the Beyond Light expansion last year, which itself brought in big numbers. For a game that just celebrated its fourth anniversary, headed into its fifth year, seeing ongoing growth is a good sign the game is alive and well.

To put some of these metrics in perspective, here are the SteamDB stats for the peak concurrent Destiny 2 player count at the launch of each of the last three seasons:

  • Season of the Chosen – February 9, 2021: 132,225
  • Season of the Splicer – May 11, 2021: 157,679 
  • Season of the Lost – August 24, 2021: 178,241

Note that these are the Steam numbers alone, and don’t include PlayStation, Xbox, or the few people who might still be playing on Stadia. They also don’t account for players who logged in throughout the day, being concurrent numbers. Exact stats are a little hard to come by, but cursory data suggests that those numbers can easily reach or exceed 1 million daily when you consider all platforms. It’s not just seasonal launches either. Checking Steam’s daily top games, Destiny 2 consistently sits within the top 5 in terms of overall player counts, outpaced only by the usual suspects like CS:GO and DOTA 2. As of right this moment, almost 100,000 people are playing Destiny 2 on Steam. It’s 3 pm PT on a random Wednesday.

Tassi further expects that the launch of Destiny 2’s next major expansion, The Witch Queen, in February 2022, will see another enormous surge in the game’s popularity. The Witch Queen is the fourth major yearly expansion, following Forsaken, Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light. Delayed out of the usual fall/winter release we’ve seen with past major expansions, this final Season of the Lost closing out Beyond Light is about double the length of a normal season. However, Bungie has a big 30th anniversary celebration planned for December, which should help hold people over through February. And now that the game has cross-play and the previously added cross-save, friends can play together no matter what platform they are on, which incentivizes sticking around even more.

Bungie has also entirely changed how it delivers content, now doing it in a way that I would compare to the weekly release of episodes of TV shows. As the missions and mystery evolve over time, it’s enticing players to keep returning to the game, while never overly demanding that they stay there for longer than they want to. Similarly, the studio has also evolved the way it tells stories and develops characters, making the world of Destiny 2 meaningfully evolve throughout the season, rather than as part of a one-time content dump. It’s taken a lot of fine tuning, but Destiny feels like it’s in one of the best places it’s ever been.

And that’s well before you consider The Witch Queen, which itself will change numerous things, including adding weapon crafting, a whole new zone full of secrets, and a new way of doing the big expansion story while continuing to lean on the evolving seasonal narrative. Not many games retain strength in their player bases four years on from release, but a rare few have dedicated themselves to evolving based on developer creativity combined with player feedback to make and experience that players not only love returning to, but brings new players into the fold. Destiny 2 is one of theses titles, a living game from a little “indie” team up in Washington that continues to delight its players. And they’ve got big plans for the future.

If you want to try it out for yourself, there’s plenty of content available to free-to-play players, including the Vault of Glass Raid that Bungie brought back from Destiny 1. As Forbes’ Paul Tassi points out, Destiny 2 is far from the “dead game” that people (mostly people that don’t play it at all) like to proclaim it is. In fact, it is very much alive, thriving, and looking at impending growth in its fifth year.

[Source: Forbes]