Titanfall Fortnite rival Apex Legends played by 25m people in first week

Titanfall Fortnite rival Apex Legends played by 25m people in first week

Within just seven days of launch, free-to-play Titanfall battle royale game Apex Legends attracted more than 25m users.

That's according to the CEO of developer Respawn Entertainment Vince Zampella (pictured), who wrote in a blog post on publisher EA's website that the game had hit a peak of two million concurrent players at the weekend.

Within its first eight hours in the wild, Apex Legends hit one million users. By the end of its first 24 hours on digital shelves, Respawn boasted of three million unique players. The free-to-play project had attracted 10m people by the end of day three.

"We’re also thrilled to announce that since last Monday, more than 25 million players have jumped into the game, and over the weekend we had well over two million concurrent players at our peak. Like I said earlier, what a week," Zampella said.

"From everyone here at Respawn, thank you. The community’s excitement for Apex Legends is electric, and we feel it here at the studio. We couldn’t have gotten where we are without you and look forward to having you on this journey with us."

With the game's surprise release, general interest in the battle royale genre and this title representing something of an iteration on the formula we have seen in Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite, it's not hugely surprising to see the game do well on launch as people drop in to see what all the fuss is about - not least because Apex Legends is free-to-play.

But this level of success is absolutely huge. For context, it took Fortnite just over three months to reach 20m players - that was just after the battle royale mode launched. Around that time, Epic boasted its game had 800,000 concurrent users. Within two weeks of Fortnite's battle royale mode rolling out in September 2017, that part of the game had been played by 10m people

More than three months after the battle royale mode, Fortnite hit 3.4m concurrent users; a feat that was too much for the game's servers to handle.

The peak concurrent user figure for Epic's battle royale title is now 8.3m with 200m unique accounts signed up at the last official announcement. That was at the end of November 2018. 

What will be interesting is how the game fares in the long run - we are still in the launch hype window and players are extremely fickle, especially when it comes to free titles. Lest we forget that Hi-Rez Studios' take on the genre, Realm Royale, was hugely successful at launch but went on to lose 94 per cent of its player base within two months.

Apex Legends was a surprise reveal and release that came out right before EA's financial results. The publishing giant had failed to hit the mark on some key releases and had revised its forecasts for the fiscal year.

As a result, the firm's share price took a hit - to the tune of 18 per cent no less! - but by the end of the week, EA's stock had risen 22 per cent from this low point to hit a $97.60 high for 2019. This can be somewhat attributed to the success of Apex Legends, though investors calming down and realising they might have over-reacted in selling stock following EA's results will be a factor, also.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.