It's hard to think of a recent game that's had a more explosive start than Apex Legends. Despite Respawn's fears of a potential PR disaster due to the battle royale genre and loot boxes, it seems the surprise release plan has worked exceptionally well, as Apex Legends has hit a colossal 50 million players after four weeks.
The figures come from Respawn CEO Vince Zampella, who shared a short highlights video on his Twitter account. There are also some fun stats there covering in-game mechanics, such as a whopping 31bn pings placed and 1.23bn ultimates activated. I particularly enjoyed the Mozambique stat.
Thank you to the 50 million players that have shown up in the first month since Apex Legends launched! You have all made this something special and there's much more to come! pic.twitter.com/EoDcjF5q9E— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) March 4, 2019
The new figure means Apex Legends has managed to double its player base from when the previous stat of 25 million was released on 12th February. To put the remarkable numbers in context, even king of battle royale Fortnite saw a far slower increase in player base, taking 16 weeks to reach 45 million players. Here's a chart to help you visualise things:
Apex Legends has also been a force on Twitch right from the get-go, in part due to concerted efforts to brand the game as an esports-friendly title. At the time of writing it's settled on 105k viewers, with Fortnite just above at 106k, although recently it seems to have slipped back into second place in the Twitch rankings. Still, not bad at all.
While some are pegging Apex Legends as the "Fortnite killer", it seems Epic is still doing pretty great. Thanks to the Marshmello concert, Fortnite had its biggest event ever on February 2nd with 10.7m players, and on February 16th had its biggest non-event day with 7.6m. Fortnite also has the advantage of more platforms, with significant player numbers on Switch and mobile.
Whether Apex Legends can maintain this incredible growth depends on the success of its post-launch development plans, which are due to ramp up later this month with a first season and battle pass. Given I'm currently struggling to drag myself away from playing Apex Legends, I think it stands a chance.