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Fortnite, look out: Apex Legends tallies 25 million players a week after launch

CNET logo CNET 12/02/2019 Ian Sherr
a group of people in costumes © CNET

Apex Legends continues to grow.

The new video game from industry giant Electronic Arts has been grabbing attention online as it takes on one of the world's most popular games, Epic's Fortnite: Battle Royale. Like Fortnite, Apex Legends is free to download and is designed as a last-man-standing "battle royale" title. 

And Apex Legends appears to be growing fast. Last week, the company said the game counted 10 million players in the first 72 hours since the game's launch. Now it's at 25 million players.


"Since we launched Apex Legends last week on Monday we've seen the creation of an Apex Legends community that is excited, thriving, and full of great feedback and ideas," Vince Zampella wrote in a blog post. (Zampella is head of Respawn Entertainment, which made Apex Legends and its predecessor, Titanfall.) "Our goal is to build this game with you, our community, so keep giving us your feedback because we really are listening."

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EA's success with Apex Legends marks a potential for it to take on Fortnite, which counted 200 million players in December. (Epic didn't immediately respond to a request for updated figures.) Those millions of players have turned Fortnite into a cultural phenomenon, played by celebrities, musicians and sports stars. 

Player counts aren't the only signs of Apex Legends' success. Shortly after the announcement Monday, gamers were playing Apex Legends on the popular streaming game service Twitch at nearly three times the number they were Fortnite, and even more than other popular streaming games like League of Legends. 


"The game is off to a phenomenal start," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a note to investors last week.

Though EA's financial results over the last holiday season were disappointing (in part because of Fortnite's popularity), Pachter expects Apex Legends to contribute $100 million to EA's revenues in its next fiscal year.

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