The launch of Apex Legends Season 9 drew a record number of players, according to Respawn’s communications director Ryan Rigney.
Our "current players" charts still sort of look like an ongoing cardiac arrest but by God we're setting records on Apex Legends today pic.twitter.com/isALQ8tLLM— Ryan K. Rigney (@RKRigney) May 5, 2021
Despite Apex Legends: Legacy launching with some serious server issues that made it impossible for players to log in for hours after it went live, the demand for new Apex Legends content outweighed the frustration of not being able to get into the game. Apex Legends Season 9 launched at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST on May 4, but Respawn spent the first several hours after its launch attempting to fix a host of issues. Those issues included players being unable to connect EA servers and others who could connect only having access to the base Legends. The Apex Legends Marketplace was also unavailable to many players who managed to get past the loading screen.
However, Season 9’s addition of Arenas, a permanent 3v3 mode, clearly intrigued so many players that they shattered Apex Legends’ concurrent player record on Steam. Just 24 hours after its launch Apex Legends reached over 300,000 peak players on Steam, despite the game’s charts looking “like an ongoing cardiac arrest” according to Rigney.
Apex Legends Season 9 didn’t just introduce a permanent new mode, but added a new Legend named Valkyrie with wild new abilities, a bow, and map updates.