Apex Legends, the new battle-royale game, is smashing Fortnite records

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Updated: Feb 16, 2019 1:15 PM

Apex Legends is similar to Fortnite, allowing players to fight to the last player standing.

Apex Legends is free to play, but players can buy virtual items, which is how EA will make money. (Photo Source: IE)

Electronic Arts stock was down last week, nearly 20 per cent after its latest Battlefield installment flopped and the company announced disappointing quarterly sales and revenue numbers.

Shares jumped 8.5% on February 12, with the news that Apex Legends, EA’s answer to Epic Games’ dominating Fortnite Battle Royale, signed up 25 million players in its first week. For comparison, Fortnite took 3 months to hit 30 million users. (Apex Legends is still a long way off from matching Fortnite’s current total of 200 million.)

Apex Legends has also become the top game on the live-streaming network Twitch, with more than double the viewers of Fortnite and League of Legends in its first week.

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Although EA owns marquee premium titles like the FIFA soccer franchise and it brought in nearly 1.3 billion dollars last year as per the Superdata analysis, revenues for paid games pale in comparison to Fortnite’s massive 2018 haul of 2.4 billion dollars, driven by in-game purchases.

However, small wonder then that, EA produced its own version of a battle royale game, with a few alterations to differentiate itself from Fortnite. Apex Legends players compete in teams while each choosing a character with special traits to round out squads. Apex Legends will take advantage of revenue streams Fortnite has capitalized on, meanwhile allowing users to buy loot boxes that yield random in-game items.

The timing of Apex’s success is critical for EA, as it has been gearing up to release its highly anticipated mob-shooter Anthem. The company’s stock dropped roughly 50 per cent from July to December last year. It’s still in recovery mode.

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