Dropping almost out of the blue on Electronic Art’s Origin platform last Monday, Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends has picked up an incredible amount of steam in the few days it’s been available for download. In a space seemingly cluttered with dime-a-dozen Fortnite wannabes, EA’s new title, which is set in the Titanfall universe, is proving to be a legitimate contender in the extremely competitive battle royale arena. Time will tell if it manages to maintain a sizable player-base, but, for the moment, it certainly has everyone’s attention.
Though the title is already available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, EA has already hinted at a possible mobile port coming in the near future. In EA’s Q3 2019 earnings call, which took place on the 5th of February, CEO Andrew Wilson emphasized the virtues of their new experience.
"There are so many unique elements of Apex Legends," he insisted. "The Respawn team has a strong plan for Apex Legends that will engage fans for a long time to come." He also commented that "... we are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia."
It’s no secret that Electronic Arts is eager to muscle in on territory previously claimed by games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and, since those games have long since received mobile translations, it makes sense that the publisher would want to combat the competition on every possible front.
Yet, in their bid to be in the hands of as many players as possible, EA may stretch their new property too far. It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that the mobile versions of both of the previously mentioned battle royale giants are relatively sub-par when compared to their console counterparts, and rushing such an ambitious port to market may be detrimental to the title’s overall quality.
Plus, though the circumstances aren’t quite analogous, EA may risk upsetting consumers worn out over underwhelming mobile products. Blizzard recently learned that the hard way, as their Blizzcon reveal of the mobile-only Diablo Immortal went over about as well as PUBG’s legal battle against Epic Games. Apex Legends' mobile launch may line EA’s pockets, but the publisher doesn’t exactly have much credibility to sacrifice at this point.
Wilson didn’t play coy in revealing to investors his intentions for their new property’s mobile port: it’s mostly for Asian markets. Much like Diablo Immortal, while it probably won’t do all that well state-side, EA stands to make quite a respectable chunk of change overseas where mobile games of this caliber are much more in demand. It’s hard to know what’s to come of Respawn’s newest game, but, for the moment, the future looks promising.