Light falls but Guardians rise as Destiny 2 sets new player count record amid expansion hype

Brad Norton
Destiny 2 Lightfall cinematic

Just hours into the Lightfall era and Destiny 2 has quickly shattered its all-time player count record on PC as thousands of Guardians storm Neomuna.

Although Destiny is nearing the end of its first full decade, having launched back in 2014, popularity has never been greeted for Bungie’s hit FPS. With every new expansion comes a surge in interest and Lightfall has proven to be the biggest yet.

Since Destiny 2 arrived on Steam in 2019, the game has seen a series of peaks and valleys in line with each major content drop. Until today, early 2022 marked the biggest month for the franchise on PC thanks to the arrival of Savathun in the Witch Queen update. 289,000 players jumped in at once to celebrate the launch. Now, however, her presence has been trumped by the impending threat of The Witness in the Lightfall expansion.

Just hours after the floodgates opened on February 28, Destiny 2 recorded a new all-time peak in its player count, at least on PC. More than 316,000 Guardians have signed on already at the time of writing, with that figure only continuing to grow throughout the first day.

Destiny 2 Lightfall gameplay
Destiny 2 has never been popular on Steam.

It’s obviously worth keeping in mind that this particular figure only takes into account Destiny 2 players on Steam. While it’s a new record for the platform, there’s a chance PC has seen busier days on BattleNet, prior to the swap. Furthermore, we also can’t gauge interest on consoles, so there’s no telling if Lightfall’s launch is a truly historic day across the board just yet.

But if Steam’s trend is anything to go by, it’s clear more players are jumping in now than with any recent expansion.

With this spike in player activity also comes a considerable surge in viewership as well. On Twitch alone, Destiny 2 has remained among the top five biggest categories since Lightfall went live, with a peak of 173,000 cumulative viewers all tuned in at once earlier today.

As for how the expansion will track from here is anyone’s guess. But with the Root of Nightmare Raid looming, and the guaranteed hype around the day one Raid race, we’re sure to see continued interest over the coming days.

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