It's been out for a matter of hours, but Apex Legends has exploded out the gate to bag itself over 1 million unique players on day one.
After its sort-of-surprise announcement yesterday evening, the Titanfall battle royale spin-off became immediately downloadable on PC, Xbox One and PS4. As a free-to-play title, players can try the game fairly easily - which partly explains the huge player numbers. It's also a pretty solid shooter in its own right, as I found from testing the game at a preview event.
I?m so overwhelmed right now, @PlayApex broke a million unique players in under 8 hours. ??????— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) February 5, 2019
Thank you so much for showing up and being part of this with @Respawn you are amazing!! pic.twitter.com/lvNgfwwKhl
Part of the game's instant popularity may also be down to Respawn's influencer marketing strategy. Apex Legends is currently the most popular game on Twitch - resting at 157k viewers at time of writing - and last night peaked at around 495k viewers (according to TwitchStats and TwitchTracker). Well-known battle royale streamers such as Shroud and Dr.Disrespect, who were invited to Respawn's preview event, garnered a peak viewership of 114k and 73k respectively.
The launch hasn't been completely smooth sailing, with technical issues such as infinite loading screens on PC and ongoing problems with purchasing currency on Xbox. This is perhaps unsurprising given the ambitious nature of the game combined with its "surprise" rollout - and Respawn intends to keep players informed on progress over the next week.
As Apex Legends is Respawn's current focus, we won't be seeing Titanfall 3 for some time. To hear more on this - and why there's no wall-running or titans in Apex Legends - make sure to check out my full report on the game.