It has been a long three months since we last put an article up. Would you believe me if I told you 3 months ago that
- Fortnite has actual competition putting its numbers on decline
- Kingdom Hearts III doesn’t live up to expectation
- Smash Ultimate is truly liked by all smash players
- Ninja’s decline on Twitch
- Melee isn’t going to be at Evo
- Bethesda got sued by their fan base
- A Metroid game is in development
- We still don’t know what the F#^% Death stranding is
- Reggie is leaving Nintendo and is being replaced by a man named Bowser
- Anthem is plagued with bad reviews before its official release
- Microsoft and Nintendo are working together to bring Games Pass onto the Switch
- Activision Blizzard brings in record numbers but cuts 700+ Jobs
- EA IS STILL HATED BY THE GAMING COMMUNITY!!?!?
Regardless, the one constant in the gaming community is that we can’t help fall into the pitfall of adding to the never-ending flame that is internet drama, and boy is there drama.
Just like PewdiePie and T-Series, Fortnite is butting heads with a new contender named Apex Legends. For once, the big name in battle royals is actually looking like the underdog.
While most new Battle Royals tend to be hot at release and quickly die off to the powerful magnetic force of Fortnite’s constant new updates and cosmetics, Apex legends may have had a lucky set of circumstances surrounding its silent but deadly release.
With a huge audience and a constantly changing update schedule, Fortnite can’t keep everyone happy.
In late January, Fortnite hosted a special winter event were players in game were treated with a show by the Ice King. The theatrical event showed the Ice King summoning a wall of snow changing the map in real time. The newly snow capped map brought in NPC zombies live on the map, as well as, new daily challenges.
Clearly, Fortnite was becoming more than a just a game. Epic Games has been doing its best to make sure that everyone is having fun. The problem was that players who thrived on the competitive aspect of the Fortnite became unhappy with the current state of the game. The game has become plagued with “gimmicky” microtransactions. Summit1G and DrDisRespect, two popular Twitch streamers recognized for breaking down on stream due to their resentment of Fortnite, decided to quit Fortnite for other games they find more entertaining. Despite that, Fortnite’s player base continued to grow on.
This left a dissatisfied player base looking for a new outlet for battle royal gameplay. That’s were Apex Legends comes in.
Apex Legends was developed by Respawn Entertainment, the same team that made Titan Fall 2. Coming out to rave reviews and an award for best multiplayer in 2016, the release left EA disgruntled with its sales selling about half of its goal sales numbers. This left the future of Respawn Entertainment in limbo.
Fast forward to September 2017 when Fortnite brought the once niche battle royal game mode to global popularity. Respawn sitting on an extremely functional game engine realized that they could cash in on the battle royal market. Obviously, they wouldn’t be the first company to hop on the battle royal bandwagon but the circumstances of their release found them finally becoming a real contender in the market.
Respawn and EA did a lot of things right to grab the attention of the player base that was in desperate need of a new game.
For one, the release was silent but that didn’t matter. They decided that the best way to gain notoriety would be through the streaming community. Many of the Top Twitch streamers were contacted and sponsored to play the new free-to-play battle royal. The sponsorship proved successful because within the first week their player base topped over 25 Million. On top of that, they hit a concurrent player count of over 2 million.
Apex Legends unique characters and it’s movement-based gameplay seemingly grabbed the attention of gamers everywhere. According to an article on the Apex Legends website, they are treating battle royals as a genre and not just a fad. They borrowed gameplay mechanics from surrounding FPS games like Overwatch and blended it in with their unique movement system established and perfected in the Titan Fall series. Mix that in with the basic rules of a battle royal and you have a successful unique spin on the fresh-faced genre.
Respawn has already updated the game with a new gun called the Havoc and is designing a new legend to be released in the near future.
Of course, with the wide audience they have gathered in the short amount of time, players are already picking out some flaws with the game. Since each character is different, their hitboxes are not identical to each other. The Wraith has a hitbox less than half the size of Gibraltar’s. Since both characters have the same amount of health this has been pointed out by the community as unfair. After being brought up in a Reddit post, Jayfresh, the Respawn Community Manager, proclaimed that they are aware of the issue and they are discussing it. What that means is unclear but they are at least recognizing the community and its complaints.
It is unclear if Apex Legends will keep its numbers this high since it has been out for less than a month. The one thing that can be learned from here is that Fortnite is just as popular as ever. Even with some streamers using Apex as a way to abandon the Fortnite curse, Fortnite is still holding strong. Breaking 7.6 Million concurrent players during a non-event day on February 16th, Fortnite is not going anywhere.
As for Apex Legends, they had a much stronger release than the initial release of Fortnite’s battle royal mode, yet they still haven’t reached the seemingly insurmountable numbers still being put up by Epic Game’s money-making machine. It will become more clear after March if Apex stands a chance of becoming the new Fortnite.