On Monday night, Respawn Entertainment surprise-released their own take on the battle royale genre, Apex Legends. The very next day, we told you that the free-to-play game had reached the milestone of 1 million players within the first eight hours of its release. Now, here I am, just three days into the lifespan of Apex Legends, telling you that Respawn’s game has exceeded the 10 million player mark already. Not only that, but Apex Legends has had a record of 1 million concurrent players at its peak.
That’s quite some achievement for Respawn Entertainment, so much so that they felt the need to submit a blog post to thank players. Writing in the post, Respawn CEO Vince Zampella said:
“In 72 hours, over 10 million players have jumped into Apex Legends and we’ve breached 1 million concurrent players!
This has been a truly incredible journey. We tested and tweaked. We argued and agreed. We got to a point where we felt some magic. We knew it would be risky to take the franchise in this direction, to go free to play, and do a surprise launch. But we fell in love with Apex Legends and wanted, needed, other people to play it too.
We hoped you’d love it as much as us, but never in our wildest dreams could we have expected the outpouring of support and positivity we’ve seen. From all of us at Respawn, thank you for giving us and Apex Legends a chance. Thank you for joining us on this journey. This is just the beginning! We have so much more in store for you this year.”
We’ve been impressed with Apex Legends so far. As big fans of Overwatch, we’ve particularly enjoyed the class-based system that Apex Legends has incorporated and the ability to respawn teammates at respawn points. Because of these two gameplay features (and the fact that the game can only be played in squads of 3 players) Apex Legends is a much more team-focused battle royale game, which actually manages to offer a different take on a genre that has been so rinsed in recent months.
Of course, EA will also be delighted with the news of how quickly Apex Legends has grown thus far, as they look to take a slice of the action from the genre-of-the-moment that Fortnite popularized, having recently discussed their underperformance in Q3. Epic’s monster has seemingly insurmountable player numbers, with over 200 million players registered, but if Apex Legends continues to grow at this pace, could it ever get close to Fortnite?