Just what is going on with Apex Legends?
Silently dropped onto consoles and EA’s Origin store back in February, Respawn Entertainment’s inaugural battle royale quite literally became an overnight success. Genre fans flocked to Kings Canyon en masse to put the game through its paces, with the general consensus – once players finally surfaced from hours-long marathons – being that it had the potential to give Epic Games’ Fortnite a run for its money.
Before long, in fact, onlookers were already tentatively dubbing Apex the Fortnite killer, a stance that became progressively more accurate as the game continued to shatter records. In just one month, the squad-based shooter had already notched up a total player count of more than 50 million thrill-seekers, an astounding achievement only sweetened by its dominance of streaming platform Twitch. Albeit only by a whisker, but Respawn’s latest creation managed to surpass Fortnite‘s total viewership figures in its month of launch, seemingly cementing its place in the market for good.
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Fast-forward two months, and the reality couldn’t be more different. As of now, Apex Legends‘ continued success is anything but guaranteed and Respawn, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem fazed by its popularity decline at all. As recently as today, it emerged that the studio has ceased providing daily updates to fans on social media sites like Reddit, leaving the existing fanbase without the faintest idea of its future plans.
Despite promises of a brighter future and an unending trickle of leaked assets for potential new characters and weapons, Apex Legends is still suffering from a severe case of content drought. Perhaps Respawn believed Season 1: Wild Frontier and its accompanying Battle Pass would be enough to tide players over until further notice, but if so, it clearly misjudged its audience. The latter has been met with scathing criticism for its lack of meaningful content since launch and despite several promises of more to come, nothing has.
Granted, Respawn’s had to tackle a ferocious onslaught of cheaters and bugs over the last few weeks especially, but if it desires Apex Legends to still be relevant in six months time, drastic changes are in order. Failing that, it won’t just be Twitch figures taking a dive; it’ll be players, too.