At first, it seemed like Apex Legends was prepared to become the new powerhouse in the battle royale sphere. It had fresh ideas for the industry, added a more serious style of play than PUBG or Fortnite, had interesting characters and abilities, it was free-to-play, and seemed like a solid game to join the ranks.
But lately, Apex Legends has been dying a slow death. Its popularity is in steady decline, its player count is falling, and things have generally gone downhill for EA’s battle royale contender. There’s a lot of reasons why the game is slowly dying, but here are some of the main causes.
10 Too Big Too Fast
It could be argued that the majority of the other entries on this list directly stem from the fact that Apex Legends became too popular too fast. From March 2019 to April 2019 the game went from a handful of players to 50 million.
The team behind Apex Legends was surprised by the immense popularity, because with all of those players came a host of problems; reports of cheating, bugs in the game, criticisms over balancing issues, lack of quality of life features, and many more. The team probably expected to take care of these issues as they arose over a period of months as the game steadily grew. Instead, they scrambled to appease the hordes of players demanding action now.
9 Lots Of Bugs/Flaws
Every brand new game is going to have bugs, even the most veteran game developers will have bugs in their games. Not to say it’s excusable to release buggy games, just that it’s going to happen. But the number of bugs in the early days of Apex Legends was insane.
Much of this could be attributed to the rapid growth, if they didn’t have enough servers to accommodate 50 million players then connectivity issues and lag is a given. But the game was riddled with problems that caused crashes, had unfair hitbox advantages, and more. It also didn’t help that the fixes were slow and many players were frustrated by the slow response to their concerns.
8 Cheaters Abound
If there’s money or fame to be had in gaming you better believe cheaters are going to come out of the woodwork and with a game as popular as Apex Legends was in the beginning, they came in swarms. Hundreds of thousands of players and accounts have been banned, but the problem is still rampant.
This explosion of cheating could be tied to the number of bugs in the game. Many cheaters will exploit bugs to gain advantages over other players and can be hard to catch. It could also be that Respawn is simply too busy with other things to squash all the cheating.
7 No Social Support
Many players enjoy online multiplayer for the ability to connect with new people or bring friends along for the ride. Unfortunately for those players, Apex Legends was lacking many quality of life features that made socializing easy or even possible.
There was no way to reconnect with former teammates and matchmaking was all over the place with high-level players getting stuck with low-level teams and vice versa. With it being so hard to play with friends or make new friends many players simply left, even if they enjoyed the game.
6 Lack Of New Content
With Respawn scrambling to crack down on cheaters, fix bugs, and make improvements they’ve only managed to release two new characters since launch. With players coming from games like Fortnite that pumps out new content at a remarkable place, the lack of fresh faces and new areas made the game feel stale for some.
Admittedly, Respawn stated they were more focused on the quality of content than simply churning out content for content’s sake, which is always appreciated, but it still frustrated many players and caused many to walk away.
5 Crack Down On Crunch
This lack of content is also directly related to the controversy companies like Epic have been generating after putting their development teams through the grinder to spit out more content. This bad PR no doubt is part of why Respawn refused to put their own team under crunch to fix things.
This is commendable and a healthy attitude for companies to have, but it’s also dragging out how long those bugs get fixed and delaying new content to keep players around. It was a tough decision that may have spared them bad PR but cost them players nonetheless.
4 It’s First Person
This one is a bit subjective admittedly, but it’s still an issue Respawn will have to rectify soon. In games like League of Legends or Fortnite character and weapon skins have more of an appeal because as top-down or third person games players can see their character’s appearance and take pride in it while playing the game.
With Apex Legends being a first-person game, players are unable to see their character models in battle and therefore have little motivation to spend the money or the grind to alter their appearance. This likely caused players to drift to other games and is no doubt a drain on revenue streams which Respawn needs in their free-to-play game.
3 Heat From Popular Streamers
Twitch streamers make a living playing popular games and many jumped on the bandwagon or were behind the wheel when Apex Legend’s popularity exploded. But at their core, these streamers are gamers too and ultimately want to have fun while playing.
A lot of Apex Legend’s declining views on Twitch is related to popular streamers like Dr. Disrespect or Shroud criticizing the game for its bugs and faulty gameplay. As streamers and other influencers trash the game smaller streamers and viewers avoid the game.
2 Declining Views On Twitch
The effect of popular streamers trashing the game can’t be understated. Many players will refer to their favorite online celebrities to get a feel for new games to see if it’s something they’d be interested in. It’s also important for the social element outside of the game, people want to be part of the group and that means they play the popular games the popular players are invested in.
Twitch views are essentially free marketing for Respawn and as popular streamers and gamers move on to other games they’ll have a hard time wrestling that attention back.
1 Fortnite And GTA Roleplay
Which brings us to probably the number one reason why Apex Legends is dying its slow death. There are other games that are simply more popular and have more attention right now. After the bug filled nightmare Apex Legends proved to be in the beginning players drifted back towards Fortnite which was churning out staggering levels of new content and had polished out its bugs long ago.
There’s also the sudden rise of popularity with GTA roleplaying. People are experimenting with playing the game as particular personas or under specific guidelines which are proving immensely popular with players right now.
It’s possible Respawn can wrestle Apex Legends back from the brink and turn things around. There are many players still giving it a chance and the team is rectifying many of the issues in the game. They just can’t take too long fixing things or getting out new content because soon there won't be anyone around to appreciate it or care.