XDefiant breaks Ubisoft player count record despite major launch issues

Max Candelarezi
XDefiant players in Zone Control mode

Despite its rocky start, XDefiant managed to break Ubisoft’s record for the highest amount of unique players at launch.

Launching a new FPS title like XDefiant in a market dominated by Call of Duty is a significant challenge. Success largely hinges on the gameplay quality, the stability of the servers, and an effective anti-cheat system.

Despite major server issues at launch on May 21, XDefiant managed to break Ubisoft’s record for the highest number of unique players shortly after release, reaching one million players within two and a half hours, as reported by Insider Gaming.

At its peak, the game had half a million concurrent players on launch day, though server problems left many waiting on the main menu to get a taste of the game. Eventually, the dev team managed to solve this issue a few hours later, which allowed most FPS fans to jump into the free-to-play title.

XDefiant Factions characters
XDefiant managed to surpass over three million unique players across all platforms since its release.

This achievement makes XDefiant the fastest Ubisoft game to reach one million unique players. In comparison, Respawn’s battle royale Apex Legends launched in 2019 and took about eight hours to reach the same milestone, almost six hours longer than Ubisoft’s FPS.

The report also indicates that “as for where the game is now, Ubisoft are happy” and the title is “well on its way to surpassing all of its internal milestones in terms of player numbers.” Within 48 hours, XDefiant amassed over three million unique players and maintained around 300,000 concurrent players across all platforms.

Being free-to-play naturally draws in many players. But to maintain this interest over time, the XDefiant devs have shared a look at what’s to come with the Year 1 roadmap. It promises new Factions, weapons, and cosmetic content, alongside a fully-fledged Ranked Play mode, catering to an audience as wide as possible within its first year.

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