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Apex Legends player count has fans worried, is it dying?

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Apex Legends entered the battle royale genre with a bang, but its player count is declining at a rate where some are worried it’s dying.

Many battle royale games have come and gone, but Apex Legends has endured over four years. Respawn Entertainment’s multiplayer-only title gained popularity when it stealth-dropped with a large, Twitch-based sponsored stream push. The game’s free-to-play nature and low barrier of entry, and plenty of gamers flocked to see what the fuss was about. 

An Apex Legends character jumps off a building while using a selfie stick

Fast-forward and the player base is dwindling at a concerning pace. Not all games can run for a long time; World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike, and Fortnite are anomalies in the gaming industry. Are Apex players simply moving on, or is there something that’s pushing them away? 

Apex Legends player count plunging in 2024

Q2 2024 saw Apex Legends’ Steam player count fall to its lowest figures since 2021, when the game was still heavily tied to EA’s Origin service.

EA’s battle royale has been on a general downward trend for a while now but the numbers are showing this in a way that fans are struggling to ignore. In July 2023, the game’s lowest daily player count peak was 303,965 players. Fast-forward to June 2024 and Apex Legends’ daily player count regularly falls short of the 300,000-player mark. June 24, 2024’s peak player count was just 256,044 players.

These numbers, which come via Steam Charts, only apply to the Steam platform. It doesn’t include PC players using Origin or those on consoles. There’s no sign of a mass migration of Apex Legends players off Steam, however, which has fueled the idea that the game is dying.

Apex Legends Player Count
Apex Legends’ Steam player count from July 2023 to June 2024

Apex Legends events, new seasons failing to inspire

Apex Legends events have been consistently met with frustration by fans.

Events in the past six months also didn’t capture the Apex playerbase’s attention. The Final Fantasy 7 crossover had some good skins, but players remained dissatisfied with the pricing

The monthly player count is also in a general decline. Numbers still spike surrounding the start of new seasons. Previously, the game hit a peak player count of 469,431 in February 2024 then 425,742 peak players in May. Those numbers still represent a massive year-over-year decline, with February 2023 and May 2023 seeing peak player counts of 624,473 and 584,294, respectively.

apex legends final fantasy 7

The numbers in 2024 are more akin to 2022, when the game was still growing on Steam after being moved away from Origin exclusivity.

Is Apex Legends dying?

Apex Legends is still one of the most-played games on Steam and doesn’t show signs of truly dying off.

Even if EA Games and Respawn Entertainment significantly divest from updating the game, it will likely be online for some time yet. The game’s not in a great place, though.

Rampant cheating and a uniquely egregious case of hacking have frustrated the average player. Rampant cheating, especially in ranked matches, has left players feeling slighted and cheated out of a fair game. There are also still egregious bugs and exploits that can disrupt gameplay.

Respawn Entertainment hasn’t been able to fix these issues, and things seem to be getting worse. Players blame this on a focus on cosmetics rather than gameplay improvements. Respawn is now infamous for including pricy cosmetics in the game while making minimal changes to the gameplay.

The kicker is poor balance. Certain legends are overpowered and dominate the meta, leading to stale matches. Matchmaking is also a pain point for many players, many of whom avoid the ranked modes altogether. Without proper intervention from the developers, player counts will likely continue to decline. 

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Written by Bilawal Bashir

Bilawal is a software engineer who loves video games, comic books, and anime. But he will never love pineapple on pizza. In over two decades of gaming, he has only broken two controllers. His work has also been featured by TheGamer and WhatIfGaming.

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