Even though Apex Legends just recently released to the surprise of many, the game has picked up considerable steam. The game is frequently at the top of the Twitch directory and it had 10 million total players and 1 million concurrent players in its first 72 hours. Despite launching into a battle royale market that many are quick to call a fad and already oversaturated, developer Respawn Entertainment has hopes that Apex Legends will be a game that lasts for at least 10 years.
As a free-to-play live-service game, Respawn is looking to play the long game with Apex Legends supporting it for years to come. Respawn design director told VG24/7 that the developer is looking to take a page out of Destiny's and League of Legend's book:
"We want this to be a ten-year game. It’s egotistical to say that; they said the same thing when they made Destiny. And with League of Legends, they say: ‘How do we make this something people play forever, not something that trails off a bit over the next ten years?’ There’s so much opportunity in this universe, there’s so much opportunity in this young genre, and I love playing it so much. We play the game for hours every day."
Only time will tell, but Apex Legends has a solid foundation of AAA design and polish and if the game can keep the momentum it has, and if Respawn can keep giving players a reason to keep engaging with the game, it could very well meet that 10 year goal.
If that is, in fact, the goal of Respawn, the developer is no doubt preparing accordingly with its resources. But with the developer's Star Wars game Jedi: Fall Order in development as well as another "premium" Titanfall game, both planned to release this year, Respawn could be pretty busy. However, Respawn has apparently established two full, separate teams to work on its games, one focused on shooters and the other on the action-adventure genre.
When it comes to Apex Legends, Respawn has teased fully supported seasons and content similar to many other live-service games, with its nearest contemporary perhaps being Fortnite. That kind of setup has generally done well for Fortnite, but time will tell how players continue to support Apex Legends. The game itself expertly combines a number of popular game features in a new and fresh way, and if Respawn takes the same approach to its long-term support of the game, that will be an interesting journey to watch.
Apex Legends is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.