RESPAWN’S new battle royale game Apex Legends came out of nowhere to register its first million players in just eight hours – and it’s not slowing down.
In the game’s first 72 hours, over 10 million gamers logged in to play the new squad-based shooter, with upwards of a million gamers playing at any one time.
The buzz on game streaming site Twitch, where fans can watch other people playing games, hasn’t slowed down either. Even after the original fanfare died down and players could jump into the game themselves, it’s stayed at the top of the charts.
Since launch streams of people playing Apex Legends have been being watched by three times as many people as are watching Fortnite being played.
Respawn chief and former Call of Duty boss Vince Zampella said the launch exceeded even their “wildest dreams”.
“We knew it would be risky to take the franchise in this direction, to go free to play,” Zampella said in a blog post, “and do a surprise launch. But we fell in love with Apex Legends and wanted, needed, other people to play it too.”
Players have so far only been diving into the game’s new world on PC, PS4 and Xbox One — as was the case with Fortnite at launch, it’s not playable on smartphones or Nintendo Switch.
Also unlike the 12-rated Fortnite, Apex Legends is rated 16 in Europe — both are rated as suitable for those 13 and up in the US — further limiting the potential pool of players it can pull from.
The success comes despite a few knuckle-draggers complaining about the range of characters available to play in the game, alleging that the only “white male” in the game is “toxic”.
The character choice showed EA’s “hate towards white males”, according to one Twitter user, while another described at as a “racist a**, pushing agenda game.”
Posting in the game’s official forum on Reddit, another descended into self-parody by decrying the game as “racist against white males”, while one one-out-of-ten review on Metacritic described it as an “SJW [Social Justice Warrior] product”.
New legends will be added over time, and Respawn has promised experimentation and more changes over time.
Currently there are six to choose from and two you have to unlock over time.
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Each legend has their own abilities, which come in both tactical and ultimate flavours.
Tactical abilities, such as small shields and smoke grenades, are available from the get-go and can be re-used after a certain amount of time.
Ultimate abilities, like being able to teleport or call in airstrikes, take longer to charger up but are significantly more powerful.