Titanfall creator, Respawn Entertainment dropped a surprise earlier this February. With Electronic Arts (EA), they have released a new battle royale game set in Titanfall universe called Apex Legends. A big surprise from both Respawn and EA because they haven’t announced any information or trailer before the release.
Suddenly, Apex Legends becomes a new big hit in the game industry. Only in 24 hours, Apex Legends can surpass 2.5 million players registered from all platforms, ranging from PC, PS4 to Xbox One.
The big news doesn’t stop there. Respawn already confirmed that in only three days after the game launched on 5 February 2019, Apex Legends currently has more than 10 million registered users around the world. In addition to the current record, Respawn also confirmed that now Apex Legends had already reached 1 million concurrent players.
For comparison, one of the most popular battle royale games, Fortnite takes around two weeks to reach the same milestone.
“We knew it would be risky to take the franchise in this direction, to go free to play, and do a surprise launch,” said Respawn CEO Vince Zampella according to the blog post. “But we fell in love with Apex Legends and wanted, needed, other people to play it, too,” he continued.
What is Apex Legends?
Set in the Titanfall universe, Apex Legends shakes up the battle royale genre with a cast of unique characters, squad-based gameplay, innovative mechanics, and more.
Apex Legends delivers a squad-based battle royale experience with a uniquely Respawn flavor. Players will select from one of eight Legends – each with their own unique abilities and playstyles – and the last team standing wins.
Combatants can choose from unique characters like Bloodhound, the tracker who can see recent enemy activity on the map, or Lifeline, a battlefield medic who can shield teammates and bring them back from the brink of death. Balanced squads and teamwork are critical, as each Legend is easy to pick up and learn, but challenging to master.
Apex Legends showcases several new genre-leading innovations, starting before you even start the match. Once players are ready to begin they’ll choose their drop point with the Jumpmaster system, giving each squad full control over exactly where they drop in.
The innovations don’t stop there as Apex Legends also delivers Respawn Beacons, one-time use locations where defeated teammates can be revived. Another innovation is contextual Ping communication system that allows players to call out enemies, weapons, locations and more with the push of a button.
The first season of Apex Legends is scheduled to kick off in March and will give players the opportunity to purchase a Battle Pass to gain access to exclusive cosmetic items earned through gameplay. Apex Legends will follow a seasonal model with each themed season bringing new content to the game in the form of new weapons, new Legends, new skins and more.
You can play Apex Legends for free on PC (via Origins), PS4 and Xbox One.
Why has Apex Legends become so popular?
With more than 10 million players registered only in 3 days, what makes Apex Legends so popular? The surprise element might be one of the key factors. No one has anticipated that EA and Respawn will drop this game. And when the game released, it performs good and pleases both the shooter fans, battle royale fans or mainstream audience.
But the reason behind the popularity is more than that. Here are some factors that we think helps drive the game’s popularity.
A good mix between battle royale + class-based shooter
Apex Legends mixes two core gameplay in one game, a solid class-based shooter from Titanfall‘s DNA with a popular battle royale genre similar to Fortnite or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). Just like Titanfall (without Titan) meets Overwatch and PUBG. So it’s without a doubt that Apex Legends can please each of the game’s fanbases.
Free to play
Another reason why it’s popular is that Apex Legends is free to play. You can directly jump into the battle by using your EA account in PS4 or Xbox One, and download the Origins launcher if you play on PC.
Just like Zampella said in the blog post, it is a risky step for the studio to take the franchise to this direction. But it already has a solid DNA on Titanfall and now the game is free. So, why not?
Comes from the shooter game veteran
Respawn Entertainment is a shooter game specialist. It has proven to successfully build the two Titanfall games that are enjoyable by million gamers in the world.
But long before that, Vince Zampella and Jason West, the Respawn’s founders were the shooter game veteran. They had been the creators of the Call of Duty series since 2010 back when they worked in Infinity Ward. So, they are very experienced to create a shooter game with the features around it.
A new touch on team play in a shooter and battle royale game
In Apex Legends, teamwork is the key. Luckily, the game doesn’t rely too much on voice communication. Thanks to the Ping communication system that helps the squad to communicate with each other almost on everything without saying any single words.
With this system, you can give directions; show the location of weapons, armors or even the enemies. Not only that, but the system also helps to display all the details such as what kind of weapon, what the rarity is and how far your position is from the point.
This game is certainly a phenomenon. Fortnite is the largest free-to-play console game in terms of revenue. It also officially surpasses PUBG.
This is a good touch because voice communication often becomes a barrier in team play, whether it’s because of the noise, language, or when playing with strangers that talk too much when playing.
The class system also adding more strategies to the battlefield, which is also a good addition to the battle royale genre.