Apex Legends burst into the gaming scene like no other game before it did, boasting over 2.5 million players after its first day and a whopping 50 million after its first month. Given that the game is a free-to-play title however, it was hard to quantify its success in terms of sales. A report by the research firm Superdata however has revealed Apex Legends pulled in US$92 million in revenue across all platforms — the best launch month for any free-to-play game in history.
Such a showing is made even more impressive when considering the fact that Apex Legends launched with little to no fanfare, with publisher Electronic Arts (EA) opting to instead pay streamers to showcase the game shortly after its launch — with top Fortnite: Battle Royale streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins reportedly being paid over US$1 million.
However, Apex Legends still came in behind Fortnite in Superdata’s rankings, showing that even Apex Legends’ historic launch could do little to impact the seemingly unstoppable growth of Fortnite. With that said, Fortnite has already been made available on mobile platforms — which may have skewed the numbers in its favor considering mobile is much more accessible than console and PC gaming.
Even so, it’s still an excellent showing for a game many didn’t even know would be released before February. EA’s stock understandably soared as a result of Apex Legends’ highly-successful launch, even despite the publisher’s murky reputation.
We can expect that the game would rake in even more revenue next month, mostly thanks to the release of its first battle pass and newest character, Octane.
However, the question of whether the game can sustain its growth is still up in the air. The release of new characters can be a steady revenue stream, only if the developers can crank out new ones fast enough. Leaks have shown that as many as 10 new characters may end up joining Apex Legends’ existing roster of ‘legends,’ though there is no telling when, if ever, they’ll end up going live.
As Fortnite and many other free-to-play titles have shown, the regular release of cosmetics is by far the most reliable way to earn continuous revenue. However, Apex Legends has been severely lacking in that department, especially when compared to how Fortnite releases new sets of cosmetics on a weekly basis. Until Apex Legends can improve on the cosmetics it can offer to its already massive player base, we can expect that its growth will eventually slow down in a matter of months. Until then, we can only wait and see.