The hardest thing about Apex Legends’ launch, 5 years ago? “It was too successful”, says dev

There are some problems that, as a developer, it must be pretty nice to have. Imagine, at the beginning of 2019 – near the height of the battle royale frenzy that gripped the industry in the Xbox One/PS4 generation – stealth-launching one of the best free-to-play games that combined the melee of Fortnite with the traversal and gunplay of Titanfall. It was always going to be a success, but the developer wasn’t prepared for quite how much of a success it was.

“When Apex Legends came out, it was too viral,” explains Moy Perra, animation director at Respawn Studios. “We weren’t ready for that kind of success. If we could do it all again, I’d want to have better infrastructure in place, so that we could scale up to manage the success.”

Perra explains that the studio was not expecting the 2019 battle royale title – the first, at the time, to really challenge Fortnite’s reign – to be as popular as it was. The game managed to attract 25 million players by the end of its first week, before wrapping up its first 30 days online with a massive 50 million registered players.

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