Apex Legends’ season 15 celebrates new player peak—but struggles to compete with seasons past

A good mark, or sign of a worrying trend?

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Usually, the high point of a season for Apex Legends in terms of concurrent player count is the very first day. That’s when the most players are logged on to try out the new character and any other new content that inevitably comes with a major seasonal update.

That’s not the case for season 15, however, since Steam records indicate that the highest concurrent player mark for Eclipse occurred yesterday at the launch of the Wintertide event. The Steam numbers indicate that more than 412,000 players were on Apex yesterday, beating out the first day of the season, which peaked at 403,517 players, according to Apex Legends Status.

While there were plenty of player complaints leading up to the Wintertide event and at its launch regarding recolored skins being sold for the same price as new ones, skin bundles, and what many saw as a lackluster return for the Winter Express event, that didn’t dissuade many players from still logging in and checking out what the event had to offer. As is usually the case with season updates and mid-season events, this player peak quickly trailed off after the first hour or so of the event.

While Apex players on social media might have been disappointed with the event and the game’s current state, the peak is quite good for Apex, beating out the peak of 393,000 concurrent players on Steam that the game set with the season 12 update at the beginning of the year. That mark was the record at the time, but subsequent seasons put both that mark and the current peaks for season 15 to shame.

That fact may be a little bit worrisome for Apex since downward trends are never ones that games like to follow. And despite an entirely new battle royale map introduced in season 15, which usually drives significant interest in a new season, Eclipse hasn’t even come close to touching the concurrent player peak on Steam from season 14.

Before season 15, Apex had been on a hot streak when it came to its concurrent player count on Steam. Each successive seasonal update brought a new concurrent player peak, according to Steam Charts, with the height of its success coming in the season 14 launch when the game peaked at over 500,000 concurrent players. And while it’s impossible to tell what those numbers would look like across all platforms on both PC and console, it’s safe to say that the game was busy setting records for itself that far eclipsed that half-million mark.

Season 15, however, is the first season in 2022 where that player peak has dropped, and it dropped nearly 100,000 players. In fact, season 15 didn’t even manage to beat out season 13’s peak, which registered a couple hundred more concurrent players on Steam.

It’s not the first time that the peak player count on Steam has gone down from season to season in Apex, and going over 400,000 players on Steam at multiple times in one season certainly isn’t reason to ring the alarm bells. But it is a disappointing number when considering the growth of the game in 2022 and the new map introduced with the season. As for whether this dip in player peak and Steam player count is just a dip or the beginning of a trend, players can only wait for next season to find out.