The recent success of Apex Legends – developed by Respawn entertainment – was equally unexpected as it was ungodly massive, with a staggering 10 million players within 72 hours (a new world record, beating Fortnite, who took decades compared to Apex’s two whole weeks).
This has got me thinking of Apex’s origins.
Apex Legends’ monumental success is even stranger when you consider its marketing… which was nothing, absolutely nothing, before launch. Just out of nowhere. And it’s simply the best marketing for a game I’ve ever seen. Well, I lied when I said there was ‘no’ marketing – there was a leak a few days before launch, but that was it. The complete map was leaked a whole year ago and no one seemed to care.
The game’s success is owed completely to word-of-mouth and content curators, both Twitch and YouTube – more so Twitch. Twitch streamers that were normally streaming Fortnite were streaming Apex, which helped it reach the 10 million players so quickly.
This now brings me to the last game to come out of Respawn Entertainment: Titanfall 2! Ignoring that weird Titanfall RTS spin-off, Titanfall 2 was the undeniable best “triple AAA” shooter of 2016 being released in-between two of the other biggest shooters… and that’s the problem. Both of these games were much more established brands. The other two games were Battlefield 1, the 13th game in the series (ignoring free to play spin offs, yeah…), and the other was the “new” COD (Infinite Warfare) – at the time with the gimmick that this time, it’s in space!!
Titanfall, this relatively unknown IP, was thrown in-between two monoliths of the gaming industry. Now, you would think that this was Respawn’s choice but it actually was their publisher’s choice. E.A was previously known for being the worst corporation in the video gaming industry, something that people are beginning to forget and forgive, but I’ll always be there, waiting in the shadows with a sigh. (They made loot boxes a “normal” thing in AAA gaming, making it worse for us consumers and they’ve shut down many of the greatest gaming developers.)
Now EA owns a lot of IP’s. Funnily enough, it also owns Battlefield. That’s right, EA could have easily moved the release date of Titanfall. EA would have known that it wouldn’t stand a chance compared to the other games released both sides of it. Titanfall 2 was a down right amazing game failed by it publisher’s own greed and closed-mindedness.
It was killed before it even had a chance to live.