The developers of the new smash-hit battle royale game, Apex Legends, have revealed that the game has now hit over 50 million players — a truly impressive feat when considering the game came from out of nowhere a month ago.
Apex Legends hit 50 Million players worldwide! We are humbled by all your support and can’t wait to show you what’s next. pic.twitter.com/QTDH57lfvB
— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) March 4, 2019
There was little fanfare that preceded Apex Legends’ surprise release back in February 4, but once it did, the game hit the ground running — notching one million players in its first eight hours. With many streamers even showcasing this new free-to-play battle royale in their streams, Apex ended its first day with 2.5 million players.
The runaway success of Apex Legends had many drawing comparisons to how Fortnite: Battle Royale — the undisputed top dog of the battle royale genre before Apex came out — did in its first month.
Number of Apex Legends players after:
8 hours – 1m
1 day – 2.5m
3 days – 10m
1 week – 25m
4 weeks – 50m
Number of Fortnite BR players after:
2 weeks – 10m
6 weeks – 20m
11 weeks – 30m
16 weeks – 45m
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) March 4, 2019
50 million in 28 days. pic.twitter.com/RagPU99T9i
— Roundhill Investments ???? (@roundhill) March 4, 2019
Analyst Daniel Ahmad and esports firm Roundhill Investments provided data that clearly show Apex far outpacing Fortnite in terms of player numbers — it took Apex 4 weeks to get a million players, while Fortnite was only able to crack 45 million after 16 weeks.
With that said, context is key here. Fortnite first launched with its Save the World mode in July 2017, a paid campaign that did not attract much attention. The game’s much more successful battle royale mode arrived two months later in September 2017.
Back then, the battle royale genre was still far from the juggernaut it is today, so Fortnite naturally took some time before it got the ball rolling. But once it did, boy did the ball roll; by June 2018, Fortnite had 125 million players. Since then, the game has recorded over 200 million players and counting.
While it can be said that Fortnite pushing the battle royale genre to the forefront of gaming paved the way for Apex Legends to have the stellar debut it had, the success of one does not take away any from the other. If anything, the competition between Fortnite and Apex Legends is more likely to drive even more success for both and the battle royale genre as a whole.