This piece isn’t about my feelings about Apex Legends exactly. This is more about what the game has done to the state of game development and publishing.
“There is going to be a big announcement on Monday”
When you are part of the gaming industry you get used to rumors. They are everywhere and they encompass every aspect of a game. What it is, when it’s releasing, what sort of content is going to be in it, what the monetization is going to be like, etc. etc. Because of this, when rumors started coming out that there was going to be an announcement from Respawn, the makers of Titanfall, on Monday about a new title that will be released that same day, almost everyone was skeptical of what it could be and how successful. Boy were we ever wrong.
Monday came around and Respawn made their announcement. Apex Legends was here, it is free, and you can play the full game right now. Yes there will be micro transactions and yes, that means characters. All of the cards were on the table. So a million people in 24 hours downloaded the game, played it, and… it was amazing. Everything worked nearly flawlessly. Yeah, there was a few small crashes for a small number of people, but overall the servers and the game performed admirably. Respawn had done something that up until that day most people both in and out of the industry thought to be no longer possible. A fully featured, online, multiplayer game was announced and released on day one with no major issues and got a million people to download a play immediately.
This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface for all of the amazing features that came down from the game itself. Real talk: Apex Legends has changed the face of first person shooting games and battle royale forever.
But how does this change what publishing games is like?
Here is an anecdote for you: Less than a week later, I was meeting with a IP holder that we are working with to make a game for. Before our meeting even started the questions about Apex Legends, how it was announced, how it was launched and whether or not we can do that started coming in. The feat was impressive and when something that impressive comes along, you want that success replicated for yourself.
The execution on all fronts, the quality of the assets that are used in showing off the game and engaging with their community is tremendous. On top of all of that, Apex Legends seems to understand how to work with a community around their amazing game. They feature amazing plays, show off some of their great content creators, are actively involved in all facets of their community space. Their production of the publication of this game has been pitch perfect from day one.
It would be amazing to see this type of launch and execution of every game out there. So amazing that now everyone who is working with a publisher, especially folks who are putting out intellectual property and not necessarily games specifically. Everyone wants Fortnite’s success mixed with Apex’s gusto. Big splashes and not a failure in sight.