Destiny 2 servers hold under huge influx of players during Witch Queen launch

three guardians wearing the witch queen armor
(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen has seen an explosion of popularity following the release of the latest expansion. The DLC, which had a generally smooth launch, saw the game shoot up past a million concurrent players according to statistic trackers. 

Across several third-party statisticians, activity in Destiny 2 has spiked massively. Most notably, as picked up by Dualshockers, the game surpassed 1 million concurrent players based on data by PlayerCounter. That number's barely dropped, some sixteen hours after launch, the site claims there are still 905,969 players logged on.

While these numbers are an estimate, the website relies on the Gohost Network Protocol which tracks players across multiple platforms. Still, it’s worth remembering that these figures are not confirmed by Bungie. 

However, there's more data out there showing just how many are playing. On SteamCharts, the game peaked at 289,895 players yesterday, which is the highest it's seen since the launch of the Shadowkeep expansion back in 2019. That DLC saw 292,314 concurrent players, but importantly, that was also the launch of the PC and free-to-play versions of the game.

As another point of comparison, the previous expansion, Beyond Light, which launched in November 2020, only reached 241,843 peak concurrent players. 

Witch Queen isn't only proving popular among players, the expansion has shot up the charts on Twitch. The game entered the top 5 most-watched games on the streaming platform, hitting a high of 156,357 concurrent viewers across 11,476 channels, according to Sullygnome,

By available metrics, The Witch Queen has proven to be massively popular. This appears to be one of the biggest releases ever for Destiny 2, which is approaching five years old.

Analysis: The Witch Queen appears to be a big success

These numbers are impressive by Destiny 2’s standards. The game, which goes through down periods, often in the lull between big releases, is still massively popular when it comes to big releases. The numbers are still impressive, though. In January, the game reached a peak of 78,752 concurrent players on Steam, there are now more than three times that number playing today.

While high player numbers may be good news for Bungie, the best news for players is that Witch Queen largely launched without issue. There were minor queues at launch, but nothing so bad as in previous launches. 

There was still one major issue, and an embarrassing one, at that. Despite now being a Sony-owned studio, Bungie ran into an issue that prevented PS4 players from pre-loading Witch Queen. This meant many were unable to play on launch day, especially those in Europe and Asia, where the expansion didn’t launch until the evening. 

With the exception of the PS4 pre-load issue, Witch Queen looks to be Bungie's most successful launch.

  • Want to play but not sure where to start? Check out our guide to buying Destiny 2.
Patrick Dane
Gaming Guides Editor

Patrick Dane is TechRadar Gaming's Guides Editor. With nearly a decade in the games press, he's been a consistent voice in the industry. He's written for a plethora of major publications and travelled the world doing it. He also has a deep passion for games as a service and their potential to tell evolving stories. To wit, he has over 2000 hours in Destiny 2, over 1000 in Overwatch and is now deeply into Valorant.