Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends, the new battle royale game set in the Titanfall universe, surprised the gaming world at the beginning of February with a stealthy, unexpected launch. Even more surprising is how players took to the game, and, within a few weeks, it had reached 25 million players total, with two million concurrent players at any given time. Now, a month after release, Apex Legends has reached yet another new milestone.
In a tweet and website update today, Respawn’s co-founder, Vince Zampella, announced that Apex Legends has surpassed 50 million players worldwide. While there was no new update regarding the number of concurrent players, Zampella did remind fans to look forward to Season 1 releasing sometime this month.
These numbers are certainly impressive, and they would suggest that Apex Legends is on track to becoming the most popular battle royale game around — at least, for the next few months. However, Polygon’s Allegra Frank recently provided some important context for the game’s success compared to its biggest rival, the battle royale juggernaut Fortnite.
Specifically, Epic’s sensation didn’t introduce a battle royale mode until September 2017, several months after the base game’s initial release. At the time, there were controversies surrounding the new mode, with some players noting its similarities to PUBG.
However, players took to Fortnite quickly, and, by the following June, it boasted 125 million players. This does not include the influx of new users that came to the game after it launched on Switch.
Still, if Apex Legends continues on its current path, it could easily move beyond Fortnite’s nine month high mark, even without a Switch release. The fact that it has already shattered the one-day Twitch viewership record previous set by Epic’s battle royale, during the recent Apex Rivals events, is proof positive of that.
The point is that regardless of how many new players Legends gained in its first month, Fortnite has staying power. Only time will tell how players continue to interact with the two games and which one ultimately remain more popular.
Zampella’s statement can be found on EA’s website.