There’s a new kid on the block, and its name is Apex Legends. After hitting 10 million players, and an astounding 1 million concurrent, in its first week, Respawn’s newest smash hit has also picked up steam on the streaming front. Nowadays, the clout of multiplayer games is often judged both in player base as well as its actively engaged streaming audience, making professional streamers and pro gamers more integral to gaming companies than ever. The recent king of Twitch (and the online gaming market in general), Fortnite, was finally dethroned by the up-and-coming Battle Royale competitor.
As reported by Dexerto, Apex Legends overcame its 600,000-hour streaming disparity against Fortnite with a ridiculous 11 million more hours watched by Twitch’s massive audience; this is just in the last week alone, which speaks volumes about the popularity of these games. In terms of more detailed numbers, Dexerto reported that “Apex had an average viewership of 183,089 over that time, nearly 70,000 more than the 115,947 average viewer count of Fortnite.”
It’d be easy to attribute Apex’s success to cannibalizing streaming channels, but statistics suggest otherwise. In these last seven days, there has actually been an increase in the total hours, number of channels, and number of streamers on the platform for Fornite, which further adds to the accolades of Respawn’s game. Credit where it’s due, Respawn has indeed made a game worthy of its success, as most outlets and players have crowned the game as the most polished and well-made Battle Royale game to date, praising its refinement of existing mechanics and the addition of a revolutionary ping system not found in its major competitors.
However, like any other free-to-play game out there, sustainability is the name of the game. While Fortnite may have been dethroned for a week, a large contributing factor can be attributed to the marketing efforts of EA and major streamers hopping on the game for a spin. It’s important to note that this is a fleeting measure of success, as Fortnite has dominated the streaming charts for a long time now. The true test of Apex’s longevity will lie in its engagement after the most popular streamers move on (or back) to other titles and the novelty wears off.
Despite its fledgling title, Respawn and EA have done is nothing short of impressive, a surprise-dropped game that players immediately became enamored with, and a well-executed title in a now-saturated genre that stands toe-to-toe with the heavy hitters.