Apex Legends landed with a bang last Wednesday and has already shaken up the battle royale genre in a big way. While it doesn’t quite have PUBG or Fortnite shaking in their boots, the 10 million (and growing) player count in less than a week will definitely have them nervously looking over their shoulders at this stylish young upstart. And perhaps they should be nervous.
After all, no game stays super-popular forever and while Fortnite at least is doing a great job in keeping players engaged with fresh events, Apex Legends is the new big deal in town. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s lived up to the hype.
I’m not exactly bored of Fortnite, but it’s extremely familiar now, whereas the dynamic movement of Apex Legends combined with the cool character skills, interesting world and excellent Smart Comms system makes me excited to make the drop every single round. Clearly recognizing they’re onto something good, Respawn design director Mackey McCandlish has been speaking to VG24/7 about his ambitions for the game, which he refers to as his “dream project.”
“We want this to be a ten-year game. It’s egotistical to say that; they said the same thing when they made Destiny. And with League of Legends, they say: ‘How do we make this something people play forever, not something that trails off a bit over the next ten years?’ There’s so much opportunity in this universe, there’s so much opportunity in this young genre, and I love playing it so much. We play the game for hours every day.”
I admire his enthusiasm here. With never-ending service games rising in popularity as they retain players and make millions of dollars, some developers are going to have to face up to the fact that they could be fine-tuning the game and adding new features for quite a while yet. I don’t know if Apex Legends really has the legs to make it to ten years at this point, but who knows?
Team Fortress 2 has a greatly reduced player count compared its heyday but is still going strong, not to mention the enduring popularity of the venerable Counterstrike in all its forms. But, if McCandlish’s further comments are anything to go by, it sounds as if he’s not going to get tired of this anytime soon.
“I have already been playing this game in a form close enough to what it is and dying to play more since late 2017 when it started turning into the game it is today. I’m sad when the playtest ends. That’s a first for any game I’ve worked on. I’ve made a lot of games. I tended to work on the story – the campaign moreso than the multiplayer until we made Titanfall – so I’ve worked on a lot of games that were about putting on a great show: something you consume. And this is the first game I’ve worked on that’s more like the multiplayer I just want to keep playing.”
What do you folks think, though? Does what you’ve seen of Apex Legends so far make you interested in the first season of content, set to begin in March? Let us know in the usual place.