The new free-to-play battle royale set in the Titanfall universe, Apex Legends, launched a little over an hour ago, and nearly 500k people are currently watching it on Twitch (as of the time of this publication). Why? Because everyone’s favorite streamers are playing it all at once, all at the same time. And another reason everyone is watching, a very convenient “leak” happened two days before release. The result – a metric ton of hype.

The Apex Legends cinematic trailer

In a tweet on February 2nd, Rod Breslau, e-sports consultant and gaming insider, stated that sources “who have played and have knowledge of the game confirm to me that Respawn is set to announce and release Apex Legends on Monday Feb 4, a free-to-play Titanfall Hero Battle Royale game for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.”

After Breslau’s tweet, the internet went nuts. Left and right people were trying to speculate if the game would be announced during the Super Bowl (spoiler alert – it wasn’t), if the leak was planned, how the developers could dare to betray the Titanfall series by releasing a game without titans, if the game could stand out in the already saturated battle royale genre, and if the release of Apex Legends would mean no Titanfall 3.

Then along came February 4th, and the masses were primed and ready – sitting and waiting for official information about Apex Legends. Suddenly, the developers, Respawn, launched an official Apex Legends stream on Twitch. At the start, the stream was only a screensaver with a title letting people know that the real stream would start in two hours. More than 50k people watched a screensaver for over two hours.

Once the stream actually started, it was only about 15 minutes. The cinematic trailer was finally debuted, and the developers gave a quick rundown of what to expect in the game and how it would work. Then after the stream ended, everybody and their mother started streaming it. People like Dr. Disrespect, Shroud, and many other hotshot streamers and youtubers hit the go-live button all at once, and the mountain of hype skyrocketed even higher.

At first glance, it seems Apex Legends definitely offers something cool to the battle royale genre (despite the controversial decision to omit titans from the game). Apex Legends might best be described as a Fortnite + Overwatch mashup of sorts.

Here’s a quick summary of how Apex Legends operates:

  • There are classes/heroes with their own unique abilities – much like Overwatch
  • It is available on on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Origin for PC
  • There is no cross-platform gameplay – yet
  • There are 60 players per server
  • Players compete in teams of three
  • There are no titans, but it is set Titanfall universe
  • There are microtransactions similar to the microtransaction system in Overwatch
  • Apex legends runs on the same engine as Titanfall and Titanfall 2

So is the hype real, or is it manufactured and inflated? Can Apex Legends compete with the titans already existing in battle royale universe (pun intended)? A mere moments after launch, it certainly appears that Apex Legends has the potential to compete.

While it’s obvious that many of the streamers and youtubers playing the game are being paid, they’ll likely continue to play if the audience demands it – and the audience definitely seems interested (at least for now). What are your thoughts? Do you think Apex Legends could be a Fortnite killer, or is the hype simply going to burn out as quickly as it kindled? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Sources:

Rod Breslau’s Tweet

Reddit Thread Discussing Leak

https://www.ea.com/games/apex-legends/about/frequently-asked-questions

By: Bree Mimms [2/4/19]

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