In the age of micro-attention, which PvP game will wear the crown?
Regardless of whether or not you play video games, I’d be surprised if you’ve never heard the name “Fortnite”. However, the latest gaming giant may be losing its hold. Developed by EA and set in the same world as the popular Titanfall game series, Apex Legends is the latest in Battle Royale-style games aimed at creating mass buzz. The game has taken the world by storm since its global launch on February 5th, attracting over 25 million players in 1 week, and had 2 million concurrent players.
While rival Fortnite took 2 weeks to reach the 10 million player benchmark, Apex was able to hit the mark after only 3 days. Further benchmarks are difficult to compare since Apex Legends is still in its infancy and Fortnite has not released comparable download data. However, it is worth noting that Apex reached 25 million downloads in 1 week while Fortnite reached 45 million in 4 months. If the trend continues, Apex could again beat the competition by a wide margin. The newcomer also holds the #1 streamed game on Twitch with over 45M hours streamed from February 8-15 (Fortnite had 17M hours streamed).
For the time being, Fortnite continues to reign supreme with over 200 million users, as of November 2018 (most recent user data released) and an impressive $2.4B in estimated revenue in 2018. Fortnite also pushed the limits of what many of us consider to be a “video game” by exploring what the future of entertainment might look like. Recently Fortnite hosted a live Marshmello EDM concert inside the game, which was “attended” by over 10 million users. How many festivals can claim an attendance like that?
But what makes these games so different? What makes them similar? And who will still be standing in the end?
While both games operate in the Battle Royale universe, many of the similarities end there. A Battle Royale-style game typically involves a high quantity of players, all competing to be the last player standing. Players are dropped into an environment and must scout for equipment, weapons, and resources in order to fight their way to victory. Fortnite provides players with a variety of playing options, including 4-member squads, 1v100, 50v50, and others that are randomly made available. Meanwhile, Apex Legends currently offers only a 3-member squad battle, although they teased at further configurations in the future. Apex also offers unique characters that each have special abilities, a gaming-style that has made League of Legends one of the most popular games in the world.
Here are some other key differences and similarities between the games:
While many of these differences can be chalked up to personal preference, some can have a profound impact on the long term success of the games. For example, a key success factor for Fortnite has been their ever-changing map, unique events, and hidden easter eggs - all rolled up within a “season”, which typically lasts 70+ days. Apex Legends will kickoff their first season on March 1st, but signs point to a similar trend of unique surprises, as players have already discovered in-game easter eggs.
Not everything is peachy for Fortnite though, with many failed attempts to increase player activity over the past few seasons leading to player outrage. Vehicles, “all-powerful” weapons, and more have led many users to look for alternatives. Additionally, while the ability to manipulate the environment in Fortnite sets it apart from competitors, this has also caused some players to explore other options. With the ability to destroy any building and build new structures with raw materials, the winning player in Fortnite is typically the one who can build the best (or the fastest). This has lead to a skills gap between the best players who play the game for a living (looking at you Ninja) and the casual users who simply cannot keep up.
Borrowing from other successful games, it appears Apex Legends may very well be the next global gaming phenomenon. By combining the Battle Royale craze of Fortnite with the popular world of Titanfall and the special-character style of play of League of Legends, Apex Legends offers something for every breed of gamer. While there is plenty of room for two hyper-successful games in today's digital world, only one can reign champion. Time will tell if the newcomer Apex Legends can overcome the behemoth Fortnite, but if the current trend continues the future looks bright. Player 1 ready. Apex Legends has entered the game.
Which game do you think will come out on top? Place your vote below and see how your choice stacks up against the competition.
For further reading check out this blog post