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Fragster | 10. September 2021

Is Rainbow Six Siege Dying?

Rainbow Six Siege certainly seems to have lost some popularity over the past couple of months, dropping from 199,830 concurrent players on Steam in March, to 82,045 concurrent players as of September 6th. Does this mean Siege is dying? Looking at the bigger picture, this seems unlikely, and taking a step back to look at the overall history of Siege, the game’s future actually looks fairly secure.

2021 has so far been a great year for Rainbow Six Siege, with Ubisoft announcing earlier in February that they had reached a total of 70 million registered players for the game, a roughly 15 million increase from the previous year.

Continuing Rainbow’s year of success, the game broke its record number of concurrent steam players by reaching a height of 199,830 in March, just about tipping past its previous record of 198,567 during March of the previous year 2020. With all this success, why is everyone worried about the death of Siege?

Since its peak in March of this year, Siege’s numbers have been steadily declining across every measurement. From Twitch viewers, to player counts, to google searches. While you can never know for sure how much life a game has left, below we’ll explore what these declining stats actually mean, and why they may not be as bad as people fear.

Player Count

It is true that Rainbow Six Siege’s player count, at least on Steam (console player stats aren’t available) has been declining since hitting its peak in March. If the very fact that the March peak in concurrent players was Siege’s largest player count since its release in 2015 isn’t enough to reassure you, then let us explain the general trend of Siege’s player count.

Siege's player figures

Siege’s player figures (via SteamCharts)

Zooming out on Steam’s player count graph for the game or looking at the Statista version of the same data, it becomes clear that the period of February to April has been Siege’s best time of the year for a long time now. The largest concurrent player numbers for 2018, 2020, and 2021 all occurred in March or April, before dropping off until September.

Essentially, Siege is currently on the same cycle that it’s been on for several years now, and if anything, it’s more successful and alive than it’s ever been. Any real worry about Siege dying will only really have merit if September and October continue the player count’s current downward trend.

In the past, September has been a great month for Siege, having one of the top three monthly player counts in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. For now, it seems that Siege is doing just fine, and it’s important to keep in mind that all games have fluctuating player counts throughout the year, and a few months of players leaving don’t necessarily mean the game is dead.

Twitch Views

According to TwitchTracker, the average number of Rainbow Six Siege related views has dropped off significantly in the second half of 2021, after hitting a peak in the earlier period of the year.

This decreasing popularity on Twitch has also fed into the general sense of Rainbow Six Siege being a dying game, but much like the player count, a closer look reveals that a decreasing interest in Siege is normal between May and September.

Siege's player figures

Siege’s viewing figures on Twitch (via TwitchTracker)

With February, April and May of 2021 hitting record highs for average numbers of viewers a day at 30,000 to 37,000 average viewers, the game has since declined in popularity on the platform, with an average of only 16,000 viewers a day in August in 2021.

Though this may look like a worrying statistic – a drop off of almost half the viewers earlier in the year, a look back in time, much like with concurrent players, reveals a more comforting truth.

Compared to the earlier highs of 2021, August’s viewing figures seem worrying, but compared to Siege’s history on the platform, 16,000 viewers is fairly average, with Siege garnering anywhere between 10,000 and 17,000 viewers in most months since its spike in popularity in 2018.

Google Searches

With a quick look at the Google trends page for Rainbow Six Siege, it’s clear that searches for Siege peaked in 2018 (and of course on its release in 2015). This is the simple effect of time: a pessimistic look at this statistic would argue that this shows that Rainbow Six Siege is a dying game with decreased interest, however the reality is that older games simply get fewer Google searches.

This is also the case with GTA V, often considered one the most successful long-lasting games of the decade, which has had an extremely low Google search popularity since its release in 2013. A decreased trend in Google searches can mean a decrease in popularity for a topic, movie, or game. It can also mean, especially for games, that people have become accustomed to them: there’s no need to search Google for a game you already know/have.

Overall, there’s no need to panic yet. Despite a dip in many of the statistics usually used to measure a game’s popularity, past data shows that this is all part of the natural life cycle of a game. Rainbow Six Siege is far from dead or dying, and the developers continue to release new content to an active, if fluctuating, playerbase.