25 million players in a week
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, you’ll be aware of a little game called Fortnite, which has taken the gaming world by a storm thanks to its ‘Battle Royale’ gameplay, cartoon-like characters and funky dance ‘emotes‘. Kids all over the world are hooked on Epic’s game, and it has spawned merchandise such as clothing and action figures – a sure sign that it’s a monster-sized hit.
However, all fads are fleeting and it would appear that Fortnite has serious competition in the shape of Apex Legends, a new Battle Royale title from Titanfall studio Respawn, which was founded by former Call of Duty developers a few years back. Like Fortnite, it’s available on consoles and PC and is totally free to play, so there’s no barrier to entry.
Fornite, at the last count, had 200 million registered players but it took four months to hit 45 million – whereas Apex Legends has hit 25 million players in a week. While it still has some way to go, even someone with terrible maths skills can work out that at its current rate of growth, Apex Legends could become even bigger than Fortnite.
However, there’s one big thing that counts against the EA-published shooter – it’s not available on smartphones that run iOS and Android. Fortnite really exploded when it came to phones, and until Apex Legends does that, it might find it hard to come close to the kind of figures Epic’s game boasts. According to The Verge, mobile versions aren’t on the radar at the present moment in time.
Another thing that counts against Apex Legends is the lack of a Nintendo Switch version; at the moment, the game is only available on the PS4 and Xbox One. Again, Fortnite experienced a real bump when it came to Switch, even though it’s by far and away the least impressive version of the game in visual terms. The Switch version is popular because of the portable nature of the console, and the fact that it offers a full gaming interface – something smartphones lack.
Can Apex Legends really beat Fortnite? It’s certainly doing well, but given that it’s available on fewer platforms and lacks the reach of mobile, we’d imagine its incredible rise will begin to slow over the next month or two. Even so, Respawn has reason to feel cheerful about the launch of the game, and it always helps to have a little competition in the marketplace.