Titanfall developer Respawn launched a battle royale shooter this week, challenging Epic Games’ Fortnite in a rapidly growing free-to-play market.
In its first three days, 10 million people had downloaded Apex Legends across its three platforms: PC, PS4, and Xbox One. On top of that, the game has already hit 1 million concurrent players. Under the weight of such success right out of the gate, EA’s servers are struggling to keep up with the demand.
The gameplay, which blends Blizzard’s hero-based shooter Overwatch and battle royale shooters like PUBG and Fortnite, seems destined to be popular among streamers and watchers alike. Nearly 800,000 people are already subscribed to Apex Legends on Twitch. A half million people are watching streams at this very moment.
Even the developers seem surprised at the game’s overnight success.
“We knew it would be risky to take the franchise in this direction – to go free to play, and do a surprise launch,” Respawn CEO Vince Zampella writes. “Never in our wildest dreams could we have expected the outpouring of support and positivity we’ve seen.”
Time will tell if Apex Legends has the staying power to challenge games like Fortnite for average players, streamers, and eyeballs on Twitch, but out of the gate, it sure is looking like it might be the next big streaming sensation.