Apex Legends struggles as revenue falls 75 per cent in just two months

APEX Legends players are spending only a quarter as much cash on the game as they were just two months ago.

The battle royale game had a massively successful launch, gathering 50 million players in a matter of weeks.

Apex Legends’ battle pass and first season have arrived, but fans have been disappointed by the lack of ofther new content
EA Games

With those player numbers came a huge amount flooding into publisher EA’s coffers.

It became so popular so quickly that some gamers ended up dropping £25 on the wrong game in their haste to drop in.

It also pinned up a black market, with players paying hundreds for wins.

Players managed to spend £73 million in the free-to-play game itself in February, when the game launched, but in April that dropped to a mere £19 million, according to tracking firm SuperData.

Fortnite, by comparison, peaked last year with monthly revenue of over £240 million.

Fortnite's Jumpman crossover screenshot
Fornite players have a Jumpman crossover event to enjoy, which follows hot on the heels of Avengers’ and John Wick events

EA revealed earlier this month that it was hoping to make up to £300 million from the game this financial year – which requires it to average £25 million a month.

Apex hit the 50-million mark in four weeks, showing growth that dwarfed Fortnite.

While Fortnite may have peaked, with viewing figures falling and teens looking for new games, Apex hasn’t been able to capitalise.

An underwhelming battle pass that was criticised for boring challenges and limited rewards wasn’t followed up with much other new content.


Apex Legends – what is it?

Here's what you need to know…

  • Announced and released on February 4, the latest battle royale game comes from Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind the Titanfall series
  • It features 60 players fighting it out in three-man squads, with players choosing from eight distinct classes – the titular Legends – before jumping in
  • It’s free to play right now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC
  • Players can buy new cosmetic items for their Legends, either from a Fortnite-style item shop or via loot boxes
  • It’s also going to feature a battle pass system that will let players unlock other cosmetic items
  • 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
  • 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
  • In the game’s first 72 hours, over 10 million gamers logged in to play, with 50 million singing up in the first month.

It has also hit some speed bumps too.

One update earlier in the month started crashing PS4 consoles despite apparently not containing significant changes, while a popular cosplayer was banned from Twitch after blacking up live on stream.

It did force Fortnite to up its game, though, with Reboot Vans entering that game in April.

Fortnite has also had several major events since Apex launched, including qualifiers for the £30m World Cup tournament as well as huge crossover events with Avengers: Endgame, John Wick 3 and even the G.O.A.T Michael Jordan and his Jumpman brand.

Screenshot of Octane in Apex Legends
A new Legend, Octane, came with the Battle Pass
Players looking to drop in to Apex Legends on PS4 ran into problems

The fall-off in Apex Legends’ revenue is another problem for publisher Electronic Arts.

The firm is worried about a new law in the US that is targeting games such as Apex Legends, and happens to be one of the only things to have support from both major parties.

As well as hitting Apex Legends business model, it could see the revenue it gets from Fifa Ultimate Team decimated too.

The firm’s total revenue was around £4 billion last year, with £850 million coming from Ultimate Team.

The vast majority of that comes from Fifa games, where players shell out ‘Fifa coins’, bought with real money, for random packs of players as they try and build a world-class squad to play with online as you’d try and fill a World Cup sticker album.

The new law would see such games banned from selling loot boxes, as Apex does, and from selling random packs of players, as Fifa does.

EA has its hopes pinned on a mobile version of Apex Legends reviving the game’s fortunes.


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