Apex Legends is quickly establishing itself as a force to contend with inside the battle royale space. Without any warning, press, teaser trailers, or any of the typical fanfare surrounding a traditional AAA release (aside from some leaked tweets two days before launch), Apex Legends officially breached the 10 million download benchmark a mere 72 hours after its launch. So what’s the secret to their titanic success?

The Apex Legends release was sudden and strong. Literally, out of nowhere, a new AAA battle royale was leaked on Twitter two days before the game’s scheduled simultaneous announcement/debut. The launch of Apex Legends was unconventional, to say the least. AAA titles don’t usually just appear out of thin air, and yet, this one did.

In a letter to their fans, the developers, Respawn, explained that the strategy behind the sudden launch was a well thought out calculated decision. They knew that “Apex Legends isn’t what everyone expected [them] to make, so instead of spending months trying to convince a skeptical audience, [they] wanted to make the game available to everyone on day one.”

It’s clear that Apex Legends was a passion project for the Respawn team. They made the decision to invest their energies into a battle royale, instead of continuing the Titanfall series, because they themselves were fans of the genre. They explained in a blog post that they “recognized that battle royale is not merely a new mode or fad, but a new genre in the shooter space. It didn’t take long for a couple members on the team to build a rough battle royale prototype done our way. It was janky and ugly, but incredibly compelling, and we all wanted to keep playing it.”

So after playing a rough prototype of a game they created on a whim, the developers at Respawn discovered just how addictive a battle royale with Titanfall inspired mechanics could be. Consequently, they shifted their efforts and decided to devote all of their resources into the development of Apex Legends over the course of two years. As a result, they created a beautifully polished game with smooth gameplay, rich details, and a well thought out world.

Now, less than a week after game’s debut, it’s obvious that Respawn’s gamble paid off. Their prediction as to how Apex Legends would first be perceived by fans of the Titanfall series was correct. One of the most common reactions fans had regarding the leak was anger and/or confusion towards Respawn, because they didn’t want Apex Legends – they wanted Titanfall 3. However, due to the game’s sudden appearance, disappointment was quickly replaced with excitement as players engaged in a beautifully polished Battle Royale set in the Titanfall universe. And that excitement has not waned, evidenced by Apex Legends sitting steadily as the #1 watched game on Twitch since its release on February 4th.

In our humble opinion, we believe that Apex Legends will only continue to gain more and more popularity, and it might just have what it takes to surpass Fortnite as the fan favorite battle royale. However, in order for that to happen, Apex Legends will need to address a few key issues, including cross-play between platforms (spoiler alert, Respawn has already confirmed plans to make cross-play between platforms possible).

We think that if any game has the potential to be a “Fortnite Killer,” Apex Legends is it. What do you think? Does Apex Legends have what it takes to be the ultimate victor in a battle royale of the battle royales? Share your opinions and predictions with us in the comments below!

Sources:

https://www.ea.com/games/apex-legends/news/apex-legends-10-million-players

https://www.ea.com/games/apex-legends/news/letter-to-communityhttps://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-02-04-respawn-explains-apex-legends-surprise-release-and-why-there-are-no-titans

By: Bree Mimms [2-8-19]

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