Apex Legends was released on February 4, 2019. Developed by Respawn Entertainment, the game came as a surprise to every player as it was released without any prior marketing or announcement. This is because Respawn wanted players to try out the game for themselves instead of relying on advertisements.
Apex Legends’ Launch
The game’s launch was a success. Within one week of its release, Apex Legends was downloaded by more than 25 million players. And at the end of its first month, there were around 50 million players. Some people in the industry also started claiming that it will cross Fortnite soon. However, a few months later, its viewership on Twitch started to decrease and some players stopped playing it. This is because as per them, there wasn’t enough variety left. They were getting bored with playing the same thing over and over again. The first season also failed to match the expectations of the players, something which added fuel to the fire.
Seeing that the community was not satisfied with their current efforts, Respawn knew that they had to do something. They started listening to their fans more instead of making their own decisions. This ended up being something positive for them as the game’s player base was once again increasing. Season 2 featured content that fans wanted, such as an improved version of the battle pass and unique cosmetic items. Since then, around three more seasons have been released and all of them have been well received by fans. Now that a year has passed since the game’s release, let’s look into how well its performing and whether it still has the potential to cross Fortnite or not.
A Quick Recap
Before we jump into the current state of the game, let’s do a quick recap of all that has happened since 2019. Apex Legends’ first season went live on March 19, 2019, and it was called Wild Frontier. This was the first time players were seeing a new legend called Octane. It also introduced the game’s very first battle pass which featured a wide range of cosmetic items. However, most players claimed that Respawn could’ve done a better job with the battle pass.
The game’s second season called Battle Charge went live on July 2, 2019, and this was the turning point for Apex. This season introduced Wattson to the game along with much more content. In addition to this, players got to see an improved version of the battle pass. Respawn also ended up re-designing the map as new creatures invaded Kings Canyon and destroyed some parts of it.
However, the game was completely changed when Season 3, Meltdown, went live on October 1. This season added a new map to the game and gave players a new arena to enjoy. In addition to this, we also got to see a new character called Crypto. A few months later, the fourth season called Assimilation was released on February 4 and it brought Revenant on board.
The Current Situation
The game is currently in its fifth season, which was released on May 12. This season has added Loba to the game’s list of legends, who is a master thief. However, her main goal is to get revenge against Revenant, who killed her parents some years ago.
What some players don’t know about season 5 is that it has been more successful than the previous ones. Although EA failed to provide any specific numbers, they recently confirmed that the latest season has managed to attract a large number of players. At the moment, players are playing Apex Legends for a longer time than they previously did. This basically means that the game is currently going strong, and will only keep on growing from this point.
Can It Cross Fortnite?
The question every player has in mind is whether Apex Legends will manage to cross Fortnite or not. There was a time when reports came to the surface claiming that Fortnite had around 250 million players in total. This number included both active and registered players. But in the previous month, Fortnite’s official Twitter account posted that the game now has over 350 million registered players.
As for Apex Legends, its latest numbers were revealed in October 2019. EA at that time confirmed that their battle royale was being played by more than 70 million players. While we are currently waiting for EA to provide another update on the player count, it is safe to say that it has increased significantly over the past few months. EA has also mentioned that more players are playing Apex Legends in season 5 than ever, meaning that the player count has surely increased.
However, even though some top Fortnite pros have been claiming that Fortnite is dying, Apex is still far from reaching the point where Epic’s battle royale is. Last year, Epic Games hosted a tournament for Fortnite that featured a prize pool of $30 million. EA, on the other hand, is yet to host such big tournaments for their battle royale. The biggest tournament we have seen so far for Apex was the Apex Legends Global Series which featured a prize pool of $3 million.
Right now, Fortnite is popular than Apex Legends in almost every aspect. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Apex doesn’t have the potential to cross it. It is worth mentioning that Fortnite was released in 2017, while Apex Legends came out last year. This means that we can’t fully compare the two until Apex too has spent a few years in the market. Considering how well Repawn’s battle royale is doing recently, we can expect it to grow as much as Fortnite within the next couple of years. However, only time will tell whether Respawn will manage to attract an even bigger audience with their future seasons or not. Respawn also recently announced that they are opening a new studio in Vancouver, British Columbia that will focus solely on the ongoing development of Apex Legends.