The Respawn team seemed genuinely taken aback that the game had racked up 1 million players for the F2P Apex Legends in its first eight hours, but just three days later, that total has rocketed up to 10 million players, and 1 million concurrents.

It’s an unprecedented situation, one that is even stranger considering that no one even knew Apex Legends existed except for some leaks a few days before launch, as the project has been kept entirely under wraps and didn’t have so much as a marketing campaign until launch day hit.

Apex has sent shockwaves through the gaming industry, particularly in Fortnite’s direction. It took Fortnite BR two weeks to hit 10 million players (though the BR genre was far less established back then) and every day since launch, Apex has crushed Fortnite in Twitch viewership.

There’s one caveat about the meteoric rise of Apex that everyone is quick to want to point out, the fact that EA’s entire marketing push for the game has been to play a lot (a lot) of streamers to play Apex Legends over whatever they’d normally be playing (often fortnite v bucks generator, which has assuredly helped push those Twitch numbers skyward as they’ve snagged everyone from Ninja to DrDisrespect.

And yet even if that is the case, if your game is fundamentally bad, any kind of influencer push is not going to make it into a hit, and is not going to produce the kinds of numbers we’re seeing here. I think this streamer campaign was brilliant because Apex actually does have the goods when you see it in action, and the content creators, paid or not, are genuinely having fun with it in almost all instances.

10 million players are not going to pop into existence because of streamers alone, however, and it’s word of mouth across everyone, journalists, content creators and regular players, that have turned Apex into a surprise megahit overnight. It’s a BR game that’s fun to play even if you’re not a big BR person, something I can attest to, and while there aren’t many huge, fundamental innovations in Apex, there are ten million little improvements to the genre that Respawn has spent time on to make everything from gunplay to pinging more engaging.

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