A little over four months ago news began to spread that Apex Legends was finally in development for mobile platforms, and since then there has been nothing new added regarding what this might look like, and when it will release. Such a task is not easy, and there are several features from the game that we would love to see included in the port, or that may be forced to change due to technological limitations.
A Complete Map From The Console And PC
As the map in Apex Legends is quite large, some have wondered if it would be a better choice to incorporate only portions of the map. This would allow for players to engage in action more quickly and cut down on periods of time where one feels as though they are not seeing other players for long stretches at a time.
This, however, would be a mistake. If Apex Legends wants to remain relevant and maintain the interest of players, the map should be updated at the same rate as PC and consoles. The inevitable comparison to Fortnite needs to be made, since they are the number one competition on all platforms, and keeping their map up to date is not only a priority, but it allows for players to seamlessly transition between platforms without having to think about what massive change might await them.
Player Count – Likely Reduced
A significant challenge in expanding the platforms of a game that does not feature cross play is how to avoid fracturing a player base. If the game is only available on PC, one knows exactly where the players are. However, if the game expands from PC and console to mobile devices, and potentially one day to the Nintendo Switch, each platform will be home to a small portion of the total player base.
Cross play would of course fix this problem completely, but it does not currently exist in Apex Legends. Prior to the launch of the game, Respawn sat down with Eurogamer and stated in clear terms that cross play would be coming, but the time frame is not yet set in stone for a formal launch.
As a result, Apex Legends on a mobile device will likely go the Fortnite route, which is to say that matches may have smaller numbers of participants depending on the mode chosen. While players may not appreciate the smaller player counts, this is likely a compromise to reduce waiting times to reasonable levels. While we may wish to see full games of players similar to the PC, reduced player counts are likely the reality until cross play becomes incorporated among all platforms.
A Different Platform, Different Game Modes?
Given that mobile gaming is often best done in small bursts, either because of battery constraints or simply because of the inferiority of a phone to PC or console controls, there may be an opportunity to explore different modes that play to the strengths of using a mobile platform. Shorter matches that speed up progression to the final circle, quicker drops of loot, and other changes could make for a faster-paced game on a platform that excels in only being used for short periods of time.
Will It Be Better Than Fortnite Or PUBG Mobile?
Put simply, no, it probably will not be better or more popular than either of the other two big names in the genre. Speaking of Fortnite only for the sake of simplicity, Apex Legends has already had their opportunity to shine in the saturated market of Battle Royale games, and they have blown it. An uninspired, boring season pass, terrible loot box mechanics that seek to nickel and dime players, and a PR disaster as the developers spoke negatively and distastefully of its player base have all but cemented the game as popular among only a smaller, dedicated group of consumers.
Here at TheGamer we recently wrote about the overall diminishing growth of the Battle Royale genre. Even Fortnite saw decreases in growth. Still, among the many choices that consumers have for the genre, Fortnite is poised to remain the biggest fish in the pond, and despite the genre becoming less popular over time, they will probably maintain the most players thanks to their constant changes to the game and always fresh season pass.
This is not to say the Apex Legends cannot do well on mobile, but the notion of overcoming Fortnite is one that has long passed.