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‘Apex Legends’ racked up over 1 million players in less than eight hours

Apex Legends Official Launch Trailer

Apex Legends — a free-to-play battle royale shooter set in the Titanfall universe — was revealed and released on February 4, and the game has already become ludicrously popular. In less than eight hours, it saw its player-count climb to over 1 million unique users.

The milestone was shared by Respawn Entertainment co-founder Vince Zampella, who thanked players for their early support of the new project.

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I’m so overwhelmed right now, @PlayApex broke a million unique players in under 8 hours. ❤️❤️❤️

Thank you so much for showing up and being part of this with @Respawn you are amazing!! pic.twitter.com/lvNgfwwKhl

— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) February 5, 2019

According to the streaming statistics website TwitchTracker, Apex Legends is already the most popular game on Twitch, as well, with more than double the average viewership of League of Legends and Fortnite.

Apex Legends uses several elements from previous Titanfall games, including the grappling hook system and many of its weapons, but it isn’t as simple as putting those games’ pilots onto a giant island and calling it a day. Instead, it uses a class-based structure, as well as respawning and redeployment systems that change the rhythm of a match and force teams to plan for ambushes.

Certain features from the first two Titanfall games have been removed, as well. The titular Titans are nowhere to be found, and the wall-running mechanic has also been cut. In the latter’s case, it came down to balancing the mode properly, with Zampella adding that the team would “try new stuff as [they] go.”

It appears Apex Legends could be a replacement for a potential third Titanfall game, however, with producer Drew McCoy telling Eurogamer that Titanfall 3 was not in development at all.

At least one industry analyst isn’t so sure this is true. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities said that it was “implausible” that Titanfall 3 is not still in the works, and that it could be “carefully worded misdirection” on the part of Respawn.

It seems implausible that EA would pay $450 million ($135 million earn out) for an unproven free-to-play game, and equally implausible that Respawn would risk the earn out and cancel TF3. My call is that this is carefully worded misdirection, and TF3 is still coming. /3 fin

— Michael Pachter (@michaelpachter) February 5, 2019

We’re hoping this is the case, as Titanfall 2 is among the best shooters of the generation across both its campaign and multiplayer modes. Its sales figures, however, were almost certainly hurt by releasing just a week after Electronic Arts’ own Battlefield 1 in 2016.

Apex Legends is now available for free on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. As of now, the game does not support cross-platform play, but it is planned for the future.

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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