The newest battle royale on the block, Apex Legends, has taken the gaming world by storm. Respawn Entertainment really outdid themselves with this one. But, given the way it was released, things could have gone either way.
Free-to-play battle royales are becoming increasingly popular and the fear of bombing due to a certain popular game called Fortnite keeping everyone engaged must have weighed heavily on the mind.
However, Respawn stuck with their plan to drop Apex Legends as a surprise, sneaking up on nearly everyone with a February 4 launch that saw them garner a million players in under eight hours. As amazing as that was, the game attracted 9 million more users during its first 72 hours, as well as 1 million concurrent players.
Respawn boss Vince Zampella announced as much via EA's website on Thursday evening.
"In 72 hours, over 10 million players have jumped into Apex Legends and we’ve breached 1 million concurrent players!" he wrote.
"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."
Fortnite took two weeks to hit the 10-million mark but Apex Legends only needed three days. Of course, the milestone was helped by the former as it made battle royales popular and indirectly paved the way, yet this is a monster achievement for Respawn, who found attracting players to their Titanfall series a bit difficult.
Additionally, since their launch on Monday, Apex Legends has crushed Fortnite in Twitch viewership, also pulling big-name streamers such as Dr Disrespect, shroud and Ninja.
Their first tournament is also just around the corner, with some of the biggest names in the streaming arena set to participate.