The popularity of Apex Legends has been truly skyrocketing. Millions are gamers around the globe are mesmerized by this battle royale release, which is less than a year old. What makes it even more amazing is the absence of any marketing campaigns before the premiere in February 2019. By then, only a few streamers had shared their experience of trying the game out. Nevertheless, it gained traction immediately. What is the secret behind such a mind-blowing rise?
Breaking the record
The brainchild of Respawn Entertainment, Apex Legends was dubbed “the new Fortnite” from the start, and it has succeeded in overthrowing the rival. It broke the record Fortnite had set a year ago and did so incredibly easily. While the number of Fortnite fans reached 50 million over four months, it took Apex Legends a quarter of that period to engage the same number of people. The success was achieved via PC and console versions only, and whether developers will adapt it for smartphones remains to be seen.
Keys to success
These factors were crucial for the popularity of Respawn’s battle royale experience.
1. Addictive nature
It is hard to deny the addictive quality of the game. The novel respawns mechanics it showcases only boosts the appeal. What makes the game special is the revive-respawn trick. If you are gunned down, your squad mates may either revive you or bring back to life, which is an innovative gaming element. Seeing the benefit, Epic Games even added the same options to the latest Fortnite update.
2. Team-based concept
Unlike many of its competitors in the niche, Apex Legends is entirely based and focused on collaboration between players. Fans have to work in trios, having each other’s backs and achieving victory through the right combination of abilities. Without squad synergy, a player’s chances for survival are slim to none.
The smart mechanics include the Jumpmaster and pinging systems, which both received immediate acclaim. The former ensures the team sticks together until the descent. Pinging provides efficient communication between squad members, who can instantly alert each other about threats, their own plans, and direction or anything else noteworthy. Importantly, the system does not require a mic.
3. The choice of characters
There are eight Legends to choose from, each with their own unique abilities. While factors like speed, health, and access to weapons, apply equally to all warriors, their skills and weak spots (hitboxes) are what sets them apart. Some partners are best in terms of heal powers, some cause the most damage to rivals, some have exceptional scouting talents. The need for thought-through squad combinations is another unique feature of the game.
Finally, the dynamic nature of the virtual environment created by Respawn makes every game different. The hotspots, blue zones and supply ships all move across the island randomly. The game has obvious potential with regard to esports, so we may well see Respawn try their luck in this arena in the near future.