In 2022, Destiny 2 had its best year ever, thanks to the excellent Witch Queen expansion and the seasonal content that followed. This ultimately led to all-time high concurrent player counts when the follow-up expansion, Lightfall, launched earlier this year. Unfortunately, the Lightfall expansion amounted to little more than filler content, leading to many players becoming frustrated with the game. Now, player counts are hitting all-time lows on PC.
As pointed out by Forbes, Steam Charts now shows that Destiny 2’s average player count sits at just under 35K concurrent players on Steam in the last 30 days and the peak concurrent player count is less than 60K. While not horrible numbers, these are the lowest numbers Destiny 2 has pulled on PC since launching on Steam in 2019.
This confirms exactly what Bungie told employees in October when it laid off a chunk of its staff. Revenues for Destiny 2 this year were apparently 45 percent below projections due to low player retention. These latest player numbers on Steam support exactly that. However, it is also worth pointing out that it was Bungie’s leadership that chose to split its planned three expansions into four.
Originally, Lightfall was set to be the most significant expansion in the game’s history, wrapping up the ‘Light and Darkness’ saga to clear things up for a fresh new Destiny story. However, Bungie eventually decided to cut Lightfall significantly, putting all the major story content into a new expansion, The Final Shape, which is due to release in 2024.
Bungie had to have known that players wouldn’t be impressed by Lightfall’s filler campaign, which does very little to move the story forward. Players were expecting to take on The Witness, or at the very least, learn some meaningful information about the character and where they came from. Instead, what we got was the revival of an old villain and a shoe-horned-in story, with the only meaningful cutscene arriving at the very end of the campaign.